He's an eccentric, aspiring disc jockey from the commons of New Jersey. She's a refined, aspiring classical musician from a family of old money. Vic Spencer and Olivia Ravensdale couldn't be more different, but have been a shining example of opposites attracting. However, they discover their relationship may have more to it then they thought when their lives are turned upside down as a strange transformation overcomes them, caused by a mad god from a world once thought to be fictional. As the strange phenomenon occurs throughout the world, they look for answers of what to do next.
Rated Teen for some strong language Pre-read by Luna-cy, big thanks!
Where to begin this… how does one even explain such… I don’t know how to describe it… phenomena? Insanity? No. There’s only one word I can think of…
Chaos. How else does one describe suddenly turning into fictional talking equines from a fictional cartoon series that aired several years ago?
Yes, chaos. That is the word that may well best suit this from what Vic and I have gone through over the last few days, and it only grew even more maddening the more we learned why it all happened. It sounds like utter rubbish when one tries to explain it but I will do the best I can under these circumstances. I had a lot of dreams, and I can say being a small, talking gray horse with a penchant for music was not one of them.
Where are my manners? I was brought up to know better then this.
My name is Olivia Ravensdale. Olivia for short, or as my boyfriend whom I’ll get to later always liked to call me, Livvy. I was as what you’d call one of the ‘haves’ of the world for much of my life. I grew up in a family that had what many call ‘old money’ tracing back to British roots, with my parents having been the first in our line to move overseas into the New England area. I was, of course, raised to be a proper and sophisticated young lady. You know, the kind that my parents could easily sell off to the first heir from one of the rich families they knew as soon as they decided I was presentable enough to take to one of those parties the upper class had to pretend to find fun at but any rational mind would find insufferably boring; another thing I will get back to shortly.
To say things did not go as they’d have liked would be an understatement. I was at the top of my class in academics, and did not have to work while I was in high school thanks to my parents’ money, so neither of those were an issue; rather it was because I had something they did not approve of: my own interests. I suppose there were some who thought me the rebellious princess of sorts, but to me it was more a feeling of discontentment from that I always felt more like a wind-up doll or marionette then a person, really. My parents had me planned out from the beginning, and if I wanted any help or support from them I had to do exactly as they said, when they said, with no arguments. I didn’t want to do any of that. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved classical music. It soothed me and helped me forget the stress that only seemed to grow as I did. By the time I was in high school; a private institute of course, I had found myself wanting to create classical music of my own.
String instruments in particular had taken my attention; namely the cello. My parents would have none of it, of course. They said that was not what I was meant for. Mum was a philanthropist, nothing more. I’d be the same, but that felt like spending one’s life just standing around and looking pretty, and I know if I did that I’d explode with so much going on inside my head. I remember when I pleaded them to let me learn…
“Olivia, dear, it’s nothing but a waste of time and money! Musicians of that nature are a dying breed, it’s us who keep them alive now through supporting them. We don’t become them!” my mum would say.
“I don’t care! I can’t at least have a hobby?” I asked. “It wouldn’t even be that expensive to you! I love classical music and I want to make some of my own one day! You think I’m going to take another day having to stand outside the music classes while they practice, wishing I could be there learning and practicing like they are?”
“This conversation’s over, Olivia,” my father said firmly. “If you want to learn so badly, you’ll have to earn it your own way, you’ll get no support from us on frivolous spending!”
Frivolous spending? I had thought. Says the two people who buy things solely meant to be shown off… I knew he was being sarcastic, I knew he was expecting that would put an end to what they both thought as silly childhood dreams that had no place in the real world anymore. How wrong they both were.
The very next day after school, I’d not arrived at the entrance to be picked up from classes, and instead had marched right over to a decent-enough quality diner not far down the street that had a help wanted sign and applied. Needless to say, the manager probably had not expected one such as myself to be applying for a job when I had a family that had been independently wealthy for some time. I explained my situation, and how it had given me all the motivation to work hard to get some level of control on my life, as I had a feeling my college choices were going to be a far worse fight with my parents. I’m not sure if my story or how determined I presented myself to be came across… or maybe just that my family’s efforts and money ensured I’d be attractive enough to be given to any would-be suitor made me appropriately good-looking enough for that sort of work environment was what did it, but I had a job immediately after.
Needless to say, my parents were displeased, and had half a mind to go right down there and demand they fire me, but decided I’d have quitted on my own once I experienced such a ‘menial labor’ form of work. They were, again, proven wrong. I worked whenever I could, after school, on weekends, always offering to stay extra and cover for others when it was need; vowing all the while I’d save up and make my dreams come true, and if need be, I’d make sure I could follow them after high school if my parents weren’t going to support me.
When I could finally afford it, I studied as hard as I could, knowing my parents would never pay for lessons. I suppose now I have an explanation for why, but back then I was surprised at how quickly I caught on to it after trial and error. It was as though I was a natural at this sort of thing! Needless to say, it was not long before I’d take my study hall sessions in school to practice, and come senior year I had caught the ear of the school orchestra teacher, who invited me in; and it was then I felt a step closer to realizing my dream.
My parents did not attend my concert that came at the end of the year, with graduation not too far off. The most they’d done was send our chauffeur to take me home when it was over. The concert, mind you. The drama was only just beginning…
“We’ve played along with this long enough, Olivia. It’s time to put an end to it and remember what you’re meant for in this family,” my father said.
“If you’d been there, you might have seen how wonderfully I did, father!” I protested. “I got enough flowers to make a bloody garden with! They loved my solo!”
“Every musician has their peak, and it ends soon after, dear,” my mother said. “We will not support this, it’s a waste of time and it would distract you from any obligations you’ll have once you’ve gotten married.”
“Well I’ve done quite well without your support, haven’t I?” I asked. “I’m well aware I have gotten scholarships to any college I wish, I’ve worked a job that bought me this cello. How can those things mean nothing to you?”
“Watch your cheek, young lady,” my father said firmly. “You will go to the party next Saturday, and meet the Standford’s son, and be attending Harvard with him once an engagement has been made.”
“Oh yes, be the little wind-up doll you bought eighteen years ago! Can’t disappoint mum and dad by actually having my own interests!” I said. On a normal day, I’d never be so uncivil with my parents, but by now I was far too angry to keep my mouth shut.
One second later, I was nursing the stinging mark on my cheek as my father glared at me.
“If that’s how you wish to be, then so be it! Follow this path to ruin instead of letting your mum and dad make sure you live a life of privilege and wealth! Do what you wish but don’t expect even a cent from either of us!” my father said, leaving my room immediately after, followed by my mum, who just looked at me with disappointment.
I’d kept true to my word, and did not attend the party. Rather, I spent the night looking at colleges that had a decent program in entertainment, namely music. Finding one, I knew I’d have to work hard to save money as I knew I’d have to move there, no chance would my parents have me here let alone let me be driven to and from such distance for a cause they did not believe in. No doubt once again, they expected me to fail, to come crying back and live under their law again.
Again, I proved them wrong. After graduation, my manager at my job had known a restaurant near the college and got a word in for me so I could work right near the campus, allowing me to afford to be able to stay at a campus apartment. That was where I met Vic…
I suspect one of his friends… Cale, was it? I can’t remember, but Vic had said the guy was like a real-life Hitch from that Will Smith movie he’d shown me some time later. He’d taught him what to say, how to present himself, and he’d disregarded all of it but it still gave him the confidence to approach me when I had been dragged by some friends I’d made to a bar just off campus as a sort of 'birthday surprise' so to speak… something I also suspect this Cale fellow had a hand in as I swear they waved to him when they’d spotted him alongside Vic the first time I saw him…
“Okay, I know this sounds way cliché but what’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?” he asks me when he comes over. To say the two of us are as different as night and day in appearance would be putting it mildly. I still had on my white blouse, black skirt and pumps since I'd literally been ambushed by my friends the moment I stepped out of orchestra practice while Vic was wearing faded jeans, a white tanktop and an open silvery-white button-down shirt with some odd lightning-looking patterns on the sides and back, his spiky brown hair pushed back by the pair of sunglasses on his forehead, giving him the look of someone who might have belonged at a rock and roll concert or perhaps… well… this place, I suppose. “Sorry, just… you don't exactly look like someone I'd see drop in on this place, let alone a fan of its music!”
He wasn’t wrong. The loud, pulsing music that was so popular with most people my age these days blared all around me, practically assaulting my ears and reminding me of why I’d had such reluctance even coming here. I’d say for want of better words I was kidnapped to this place, and laid into whatever trap this Cale fellow had set. I guess my friends all felt they owed him one for getting them dates for the last dance the college had. It was evident this was the sort of place Vic was prone to going to, as he seemed otherwise right at home. I guess his friend had thought it out to help him feel more comfortable approaching me.
“Yes, yes it is odd to find one such as myself here, perhaps,” I said. He promptly smiled widely. “My friends were… most insistent I be here.”
“Wow… pretty and cultured. I love the accent, by the way,” he said. Normally I’d feel offended, or suspect it was an attempt to impress me, but as blunt as he was he seemed quite sincere about it, so I let it slide.
"My British dialect goes back several generations, I'll have you know; so it never seemed that big of a matter to me. And you are…?” I asked.
“Oh, right! Name’s Vic Spencer. Call me Vic though,” he said. “So, I gave my name, can you tell me yours?"
"Olivia," I replied. "Olivia Ravensdale."
I expected him to freak out, or maybe be shocked that I was the daughter of such a wealthy family most knew of. But he showed no sign of it. Either he didn't know or maybe, just maybe, he didn't care. It made me curious enough to continue conversation with him. "So..." he began. "What do you think? This music’s pretty happening, huh?”
“It’s absolutely, positively ghastly,” I said. "It just sounds like random noises done to random beats I don't see how anyone can dance to it." Strangely, he just laughed in response.
“I guess I can’t always get upvotes, can I?” he asked, rubbing his chin thoughtfully and smirking. “I actually mixed the track they’re playing here! Normally I’m deejaying, but it’s my night off.”
“Mixed? Deejaying?” I asked.
“I’ll get you a drink, your choice, and I’ll tell you about it, but you gotta tell me about yourself, too,” he said. Well, isn’t he ever the bold one? I ended up thinking. A few tables away, I noticed the guy Vic was talking with earlier, enjoying a drink and watching us; likely for evaluation.
I sighed and chose a sweet margarita. Nothing on the wine list was something my parents would have touched, and the proper lady in me had made me choosy.
As the night wore on I learned Vic was… eccentric, to say the least; eccentric and crude in speech. Yet he was always well-meaning. He still is, but with the changes he went through he’s been understandably less upbeat then before… He apparently worked as a disc jockey for the place we’d met. He’d noticed me at one of the concerts I was in, apparently one Cale had brought him to after losing a bet and while normally he hated “that sleeping aid music”, he considered mine an exception, “beautiful music by a beautiful girl” and wanted to learn more about me. When I told him my story, it seemed to make us connect even more. He had grown up in a middle-class family, having to work for a lot of what he had, including getting into college. He, however, also had a talent for music… if one could call that screeching, stuttering, ear-bleeding noise that people my age seemed to like these days a form of music. I didn’t understand this techno or dubstep rubbish but it seemed to matter to him and got him to where he was now. In a way, we’d both decided we wanted to be more then what life had in mind for us, and Vic’s carefree, rebellious personality intrigued me, and my willingness to choose my own life had only made him like me even more. I guess opposites can attract after all… and it was, I admit, rather surprising to learn we both had the same birthday! Now, however, Vic and I have come to learn that our meeting and falling for eachother against all odds and logic was no coincidence. As absurd as it sounds, it literally was fate. Fate caused by a mad god from a faraway world that we had until now not realized we were also from…
I sighed as I looked at the computer screen. It was hard to type with these hooves but a memoir seemed like a good idea at the time. I had seen it on the news that others had been disappearing and there were claims on the internet of a similar affliction, or at least that was the most likely theory to connect so many disappearances around the same few days.
I looked over at the sleeping white unicorn laying next to me. Her ear twitched, and her legs began kicking lightly before she opened her large, magenta eyes and brushed back her wild blue mane with her hoof.
“Oh, Vinyl, you’re awake now?” I asked.
“Yeah… geez, it’s STILL not a dream?” she asked, feeling around her hind legs for what had been lost a few days ago. “I can’t believe this! It’s been days and we still look like this!” she protested, looking at her forehoof in annoyance. “I should have been a big-time deejay now, not a small talking girl horse!”
I facepalmed… or is it facehoofed now? It didn’t matter. “Vinyl—I mean Vic, if I knew a way to reverse this I’d have done it. You expect me, the one who didn’t get a magic horn, to have a way to do so?”
The unicorn let out an angry snort, her blue tail flicking back and forth. “I know it’s not your fault… it’s that damn Discord guy’s! I swear I’m gonna kick his ass so hard for this he’ll never be able to sit, shit, or shake it ever again!”
I put my forelegs around her and held her tight. She was tense for a second, but slowly melted into my embrace and, seconds later, returned it. What had happened to us had literally cost us everything we had in our lives, and worse yet we had no idea what to do next.
“Wow, you really know how to cool me down, baby!” she said with a small smile, a blush on her cheeks as I rolled my eyes. “Still, it’s been a crazy couple of days, hasn’t it?” the mare asked, bringing up her forehoof and brushing back my mane.
Oh, have they ever… I thought to myself. My boyfriend wasn't the only one dealing with some rather... unsettling changes. We both remembered the days that lead to this point far better then we’d have wished to…
May 2nd, the biggest and most important day of the year, and I had it all planned out! Livvy was gonna love this! Breakfast, matinee of Avengers 3, lunch, walk through the park, then a dinner at the best restaurant the money I saved up could afford, a little surprise for her along with the tickets to an orchestra performance to the Hobbit trilogy. She liked classical, I liked the movies, we’d get the best of both worlds, and both get what we’d wanted for our fifth “birthdayversary”. It was funny, we met on our birthday five years ago, so it figures we get to celebrate two things on the same day. Normally I’m a go-with-the-flow kinda guy, but this time I actually planned this out carefully; the most I’d told Livvy was to keep her schedule totally clean. Nothing could possibly go wrong!
I’d already finished mixing the tracks for some club that commissioned me and picked up my pay the night before, so I knew I’d be free to enjoy our special day without interruption and plenty of extra money on the side.
My alarm got me up at 8AM, Olivia was still sound asleep next to me. For a moment, I just sat there, marveling at her sleeping form. Her long, honey-blonde hair, her deep green eyes I’d get lost in whenever she was awake, that smooth, graceful way she carried herself. The accent, god that accent that gave her that touch of class and elegance that I could listen to all day; and this coming from someone who normally can’t stand uptight ‘haves’. She was different, though. She had the mannerisms, the refined tastes, but she had none of the better-then-thou elitism that often came with it. Her parents were rich, not her, something she took as a compliment as it reminded her of how she’d realized her dreams on her own. Olivia still had her normal job, but she had been playing music for orchestras in local performances, which earned her more money. She may not have been wealthy, but she was happy.
…Most of the time. I still think waking up to techno annoyed her, and try as I might I never got her to like it; but she still respected it as my hobby and goal, so long as I wasn’t playing it while she was trying to sleep.
We’d been living together ever since college ended, and needless to say when her parents found out what kind of man she was dating I think that just made them less willing to have anything to do with her; something I suspect she found rather satisfying to be honest. I believe the words they’d used right in front of me were “slob”, “low-class trash”, and that I was an obvious attempt at getting back at them. They even tried to bribe me with a million dollar check to dump her as harshly as possible and walk away. Regardless of that being more money then I figure I’d see in my life, Olivia was worth infinitely more then that to me and I flat-out refused. I don’t think she’d ever hugged me so hard before; especially when I showed my disappointment in her parents deciding she was something to be bought or sold to them for any price.
My parents had been much nicer. They were rather surprised, I admit, to see me dating someone like her; I suspect they thought I’d be dating some raver chick or someone more similar to me… but I'm sure stranger couples have happened.
“Honestly… did you go to sleep with those blasted things around your neck?” Olivia suddenly asked, now staring up at me. I then realized for the first time that my headphones were still around my neck from last night. How I failed to notice they’d been there ever since I finished mixing tracks, driving said tracks to the club, collecting my pay, depositing my pay, returning home, undressing, and getting into bed with my favorite woman in the world was beyond me. Normally I was a night owl, but I’d tried to change my internal clock a little the previous morning so I’d be prepared for today. With no sure way to response to her question, I just managed an embarrassed smile.
“Uhhh… I guess?” I asked, prompting a facepalm from her.
“I swear you’d shower with them on if no one stopped you,” she replied.
“Hey, that only happened once, and they weren’t in long enough to get damaged!” I protested; recalling that embarrassing moment that nearly cost me a new pair.
“Lucky you,” she said, starting to get up.
“Hey, hey, stay where you are, young lady. Got a little surprise already to start the day,” I said with a smile. “Just get comfy, turn on the TV if you want, and I’ll be back soon,” I said, climbing out of bed; clad in my shorts and the black Darth Vader shirt I’d fallen asleep in last night as I headed out of the bedroom to the kitchen, tablet in hand. Now a safe distance from her, I shuffled my music, slid the tablet in my pocket, and put my headphones on, letting a wild dubstep track I’d made play through my mind as I looked around in the refrigerator.
Most would assume I’m one of the types who only knew how to cook frozen food and sandwiches, but that was hardly true. I was actually quite a decent cook and so was Livvy. One had to be if they wanted to eat healthy, after all, and nothing got the day started like a decent breakfast.
Taking out a few eggs and refrigerated sausages, along with some waffle mix, I lay them on the counter in rhythm to the music playing in my ears as I took out a pan and waffle iron and quickly set to work. I had sworn to myself this day would be perfect; especially with what I had in mind when dinner finally came around hours from now.
Minutes later, I was finished, and a pair of prepared waffle, scrambled eggs, and sausage meals lay on two plates I held expertly with one hand and along my arm, with a glass of orange juice held in the other as I returned to the bedroom to find Livvy watching Pokemon and shaking her head.
“Breakfast served, my lady,” I said with a bow as have her plate a slight spin and lay it on her lap. My girlfriend smiled brightly as she looked down at my handiwork and then up at me, giving me a kiss as I rejoined her in bed.
“Oh my! You’ve certainly outdone yourself, haven’t you, Vic?” she asked with a smirk as she took up her fork and began to eat.
“Hey, I try.” I said, before looking at what was on TV. “Pokemon? I thought you had higher tastes then that.”
“I do when there’s better things on,” she said. “Honestly, this show’s practically been around since I was just starting preschool… It’s been how many years, now, and the show’s still running?”
“You used to watch it or somethin’?” I asked.
“Goodness, no! I mean, I’ve seen a little and it’s positively dreadful! It’s just the same episode over and over! New pokemon that looks like it was drawn by a horribly drunken fool of an artist, a new trainer that already owns it so it won't be captured that is never seen or referred to again after the episode ends, Team Rocket makes right arses of themselves and get blown into the sky again, what else is there to know? I feel certain what I have seen is all there is to know about it,” Olivia ranted.
“Yeah, I’m just gonna change the channel,” I said, taking up the remote as Jesse, James, and their talking pet cat experienced stratospheric-level altitude for the billionth time and began channel flipping.
Racing, some televangelist propaganda, Disney stuff meant to likely appeal only to audiences fresh out of the womb, weather that I already knew about, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reality shows, reali— …yeah, no wonder Livvy had settled for Pokemon, that pony show that was popular a couple years ago… for some reason I lingered on it for a second while it showed a unicorn with sunglasses and a hair(mane?)style that looked like it belonged in an anime… well now wasn’t that the weirdest-looking thing? I changed the channel. Nope, this was weirder… I muttered as I encountered some abstract cartoon that probably belonged on adult swim rather then the kiddie hours.
“Were you hoping for some lovely Jersey Shore reruns?” Olivia joked.
“Don’t even joke about that,” I said. First rule about me, do not speak of that unholy abomination that stereotyped and all but completely defiled the image of my once respectable home state in my presence. "But then again, knowing you share my sentiment, that joke is always easily forgiven." She actually had to cool me down when some out-of-towner had made the mistake of asking me questions that seemed to insinuate that they were fooled into believing that garbage that called itself television was factually accurate about people of New Jersey as a whole. But I wasn’t here to think of things that bugged me, I was here to think about the best and most wonderful part of my life, and my plans to move forward from there.
Come on, Vic! Think of the cool wubs playing in your head when you mix the beats!
A smile reappeared on my face as I looked back at my girlfriend. “So, how’s breakfast in bed?” I asked.
“Lovely, thank you,” she said, finishing her waffle and giving me a kiss, causing my smile to spread.
Yes, today was going to be a good day.
The day had gone by mostly without incident. We had gotten up, showered, and went out for lunch and the matinee. Avengers 3 had been quite a show; managing to escape Second Sequel Sucks Syndrome that superhero films often suffered from and even Olivia, who had little interest in superhero stuff (or the music often accompanying the films they made), still found it enjoyable, and was especially happy to take a walk through the park that followed.
“I swear you’re hiding something from me,” Olivia said, smirking as she poked my chest playfully.
“What makes you say that?” I asked.
“Well, you’re not as crude or prone to chatter as you usually are. It’s as if you’re holding back on something important,” she deduced, hugging my arm and snuggling against it for a second as she walked alongside me.
“It’s nothing,” I said with a smile, causing her to frown a bit. “Nothing that you’ll know about till later when dinnertime comes.” I said.
I don’t know if she suspected something, but my answer did seem to surprisingly give her satisfaction enough not to press on the matter. Either way, I was safe for now. As we walked along, we listened to the sounds of some kids playing outside with their parents and pets, and birds up above.
“Really is nice to get out every now and then, Vic. Thank you…” Olivia said, looking around and stepping ahead a little. “I mean, I’ve been to a few of my parents’ business cookouts, and on their yacht… but they did it to keep up appearances, not for family bonding or what have you,” she looked back at me. “We’ve been together for five years, now, Vic. If there’s any lingering feeling this is all to get back at them, then I’d be most disappointed. You may be loud, annoying at times, have dreadful taste in music…”
I cocked my head, wondering what she was getting at.
“But you’ve always meant well, I know how much you care about me, I knew as much when you tore up that million dollar check my parents tried to bribe you with right in their faces. You’ve worked hard to get where you are now even if you’re not quite where you want to be yet. The same can be said for me, I suppose. But…” she approached, brushing back her blonde hair. “I’m hoping when we are, we’ll do it together. I wouldn’t want anyone else.”
Crap! She’s on to me! She knows what I’m up to! Damn you and your sudden but inevitable deductive skills! She’s trying to sweet talk me into spoiling it! Well played, Livvy! Well played! I thought to myself, maintaining the same look I had as I brushed her cheek and gave her a kiss.
“Tonight. Dinnertime,” I said smugly, causing her to sulk a little and shake her head.
“Fine. Dinnertime,” she replied, her response making the next few hours that stood between us and our reservation feel like the longest in the world…
When that fateful moment finally came, the butterflies in my stomach were on a warpath. Wearing black dress pants, a white button-down shirt and sadly having to leave my headphones behind, I walked arm-in-arm with my girlfriend who was a vision of refined loveliness in her stunning black evening dress and matching heels, her hair done up as we walked into the upscale diner that had been a fair drive away. I’d saved up a fair bit for this, and what I brought with me. This was it, the big number that had to top all the charts or I’d go down in flames.
“Vic, you’re sweating? It’s not even that hot out,” Olivia said, taking a cloth from her purse and wiping my forehead.
“Yeah, yeah, embarrass me some more, babe. I already feel like a tool in this fancy-wear,” I said with a sheepish smile as I tried to ignore the stares from some of the other patrons who could tell how horribly out-of-place I felt as we were welcomed in and brought to our table. Olivia had all the upbringing to know how to look and act, but that wasn’t enough to completely save me.
“A handsome tool, at least,” she said with a haughty smirk as she took her seat, and I did the same. I twitched a little.
“Oh! Sorry, let me use the bathroom real quick. Better now then later, right?” I asked, jerking back up the moment the waiter arrived and giving him a look as though beckoning he follow, getting a puzzled look from my girlfriend.
As soon as we were a distance, I explained how I wanted it all set, that as soon as our food came, I would make my move, and he would have the orchestra perform the number I’d requested… the final song she’d performed in the first concert I saw her in. After a few more instructions I returned and reclaimed my seat, the waiter returning moments after as to not appear conspicuous and getting our orders.
So far, so good… I thought, my hand shifting into the small box in my pocket. Suspicions or not, she won’t expect the presentation. Then again I’m sure she didn’t expect someone like me would be seen dead in a place like this in clothes like this. I laughed inwardly at my own little joke that in no way calmed me!
“So then, the look on Cale’s face when we announced ourselves as a couple?” I asked with a laugh.
“Indeed, I thought for certain he was going to give you a manly hug,” Olivia joked.
“Hey, sometimes I’m still amazed you accepted when I asked you out for the first time,” I replied.
“Well, I did feel a little unpleasant from the idea of making you look like even more of a fool after how you first approached me when it was clear you had put a lot of effort into doing so,” Olivia replied. “Still, I’m glad I did. It worked out wonderfully for me, I’d say,” she said.
“Likewise, Livvy,” I said. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed our food arriving, and the orchestra began to play their music as they set our food down. Olivia’s eyes widened as she looked over at them.
“Oh my gosh… Vic, was this your doing?” she asked, giving me a knowing smirk.
I shrugged. “Livvy, it’s your birthday, everyone knows that!”
“It’s yours, too,” she pointed out.
“Oh. Right… huh. Well, it’s a lot of things, really…” I said. “Birthday… anniversary…” I continued, reaching into my pocket to draw out the box containing the big moment of the night.
At that moment, everything got fuzzy, sound became muffled, and I felt unusually drowsy.
No, no! Come on! You’re not THAT nervous! No fainting! I pleaded with myself. As I felt consciousness fade from me faster and faster I noticed Olivia also seemed to be swaying about…
Everything was black for a moment, then a flash of light.
Everything was happening so fast. Columns that looked like candy canes. Chairs on the ceiling. Fish floating by despite there being no water.
“—Gotta get through me if you wanna go near her, Discord!” a female voice shouted.
“Vinyl! What are you doing?!” a distraught, refined voice said, it sounded like it was from behind me.
A sinister laugh.
A hideous creature with a long, serpentine body sneering down at me and made of more animal parts then I could take the time to figure out.
“How sweet! The classic case of opposites attracting, together to the end!” The creature observed in a sing-song voice, before making an almost comical, retching gesture to the point of his forked tongue reaching the floor.
Blast of blue magic fired from wherever I was at the creature, who did a swishing motion with his hand that looked like a bird claw and it suddenly sputtered away in circles like a deflating balloon.
“Fun’s over! Time to join the others!” the creature taunted.
Five Score Divided by Four…
My eyes snapped open and I woke in something wet. No, just my face. And whatever it was, it was really hot, too! I jumped back up, pushing myself out of whatever it was I’d face-planted into, and realized I’d somehow passed out face-first into my food! Hoping to spare some remaining shred of dignity I hurriedly grabbed my napkin and began wiping off the sauces from my face as best I could. A quick glance across the table, and I noticed Olivia doing the same thing!
What the hell?! How did we both just randomly pass out at the same time and right into our food plates?! It was then I also noticed the music had stopped rather abruptly and saw the waiter, all the other patrons, and a man I assumed to be the manager all staring at us; some with looks of disgust and others with concern on their faces.
I looked back at Olivia, who looked reasonably embarrassed and was blushing redder then a cooked lobster, and it was clear to me there was no way this evening out could possibly be saved.
“W-we’ll… just get our check now…” I said sheepishly, feeling about two inches tall and figuring it was gonna take several months before either of us would live this down and another opportunity to pop the big question would arise; the box still present in my pocket now posing as a mocking reminder.
The ride home was one of awkward silence. With what had transpired back in the restaurant having insured there was no way either of us would have any desire to do anything else that night and thus ruling out the also expensive orchestra show I'd intended us to go see, the only real option either of us was looking at now was to go home and try, likely without much success, to put what had happened behind us or at least try and find some sort of reason or sense behind what had happened. Both of us made a few failed attempts at starting conversation but neither of us were able to form a full sentence or question. It had been, without a doubt, the single most embarrassing moment of our lives. Or mine, at least… I didn’t know for sure if Olivia had gone through worse but at the moment it seemed unlikely.
It also didn’t help that a weird tingling was starting on my hips. It was slight at first, like when one gets dry skin but it seemed unusual for this time of year. As we got closer and closer to home, it only got worse, becoming an unbearable itch that’d put a poison ivy rash to shame. Olivia seemed a little uncomfortable as she sat there as well, shifting in her seat a little…
The moment we got home, we practically competed for the bathroom before remembering we had two, one upstairs and one downstairs. Olivia rushed to the one downstairs and I sped up to the master one upstairs, and the moment I closed the door I dug both hands down my pants and scratched like crazy.
Even as I did so, the itch persisted, and I scratched more and more, finally grabbing a bristled hairbrush and scrubbing it against one of my sides rapidly. After a few seconds, it finally stopped and I let out a sigh of relief as I felt certain if I’d gone on any longer I’d have likely gone through my first layer of skin. I couldn’t help but wonder what Olivia was in such a hurry for the bathroom as well when I suddenly heard her shouting from downstairs.
“HOW IN THE BLOODY HELL?!”
Normally she’d never get that crude, so whatever it was clearly had to be a big deal. I ran from the bathroom, my pants sliding down and leaving only my boxers and socks below my waist as I rushed downstairs and saw Olivia standing there, hiking up her dress and staring in confusion at something on her hip… right around the same place I’d been scratching at.
“Livvy, what’s wrong?” I asked, approaching.
“Would you LOOK?! Where did this come from?!” she asked, showing me and causing my eyes to nearly bug out in disbelief.
There, like some kind of classy tramp stamp was a purple treble clef tattoo of some kind on her hip.
“It wasn’t there when I got dressed! When we were driving home this ghastly itch started and when it finally stopped, this thing was here!” she explained, and I could only stare in response. “You don’t think I’m joking, do you?!” she asked. “Do I seem the type who’d go for tramp stamps?!”
This night had taken a serious turn for the weird. Random synchronized passing out. Both of us suddenly getting a weird itch on our sides… freaky music tattoo appears on my girlfriend’s hips…
Wait… did that mean…?
Olivia stared at me for a moment. “Vic… did you….?” she began.
I slowly slid down the side of my boxers, fearing what might be there when I looked.
“Ho… ly… SHIT!” I shouted when I discovered both my hips now sported a black eighth-note tattoo.
Olivia stared at the strange tattoo on her hip, then at mine. “Vic… what in the world is going on?” she asked, a look of genuine fear on her face.
To say I expected our evening out to go a lot better then it had is a right understatement if I may say so. Between breakfast in bed, Avengers 3 at the cinema, the walk through the park, and of course the exquisite dinner, Vic had clearly been preparing me for something and once I’d begun to suspect what I’d been hoping he’d do for a while now I could barely contain my excitement; and then, right when it seemed like it was about to happen, everything spiraled down the loo at a rather rapid pacing.
It had started when everything grew hazy, then I felt faint… and then came that awful dream…
A strange flash, and a white horse with a blue tail and mane was in front of me. I must have been on the floor or something since she was higher up then I was.
“—Gotta get through me if you wanna go near her, Discord!” the horse I assume shouted.
“Vinyl, what are you doing?!” another voice, it sounded like it was very close to where I was, shouted.
Another flash, like some broken film skipping around.
A horrid, monster that looked like someone just amputated parts of different animals and glued them together onto a serpentine body laughed. “How sweet, the classic case of opposites attracting, together to the end!” It sang, before giving a sideways retching gesture.
Another flash, he was waving his left hand which looked like a bird claw, blocking some kind of energy blast.
Another flash, and he now hovered over me and the horse, sneering down at us.
“Fun’s over! Time to join the others!” the creature gloated, the talking white mare stepping backward towards me but never taking her eyes off of the chimera-like entity, is if she were trying to protect me.
Five Score Divided by Four…
I had no idea what it had meant, or why in the world I’d ever dream such a thing. Regardless, the night had been ruined as well as whatever plans Vic had that night apparently, and after a silent, awkward trip home a terrible itch had started on my sides. I’d done everything I could to keep my dignity and ignore it until we reached the door and made my way to the nearest bathroom while Vic had apparently gotten the same idea and rushed upstairs.
After several moments of scratching and cursing myself for stooping to such degrading behavior, I’d hiked up my dress to see what in the world had caused so much discomfort and hoping I hadn’t lost any skin in the process. Expecting a rash, or perhaps some sign of some sort of allergic reaction, I was, needless to say, surprised at what I found.
A purple treble clef. Stamped right on my hip like some kind of cheap tattoo you’d find on a typical street harlot. Pulling my dress up all the way, I found that it had appeared on both hips, which was about all I could take and it prompted me to react in rather uncivil, but no doubt justified, hysterics.
And once Vic had come downstairs, I soon discovered that I was hardly alone in my situation. Vic also had a pair of quaver tattoos on his hips and neither of us had any recollection as to how they could have possibly gotten there.
“Livvy, there’s gotta be some kinda explanation for this, right?” Vic asked me, and fancy that; it did nothing to calm my nerves.
“For what, a synchronized blackout, weird dreams, a sodding tattoo just suddenly appearing on our hips?” I demanded.
“Weird dreams?” Vic asked. “Shoulda seen mine. There was this freaky-looking… I dunno what but I swear it’s got more mixed up animal parts then Australian wildlife…”
“What?!” I shouted, louder then I’d meant to. “Goat’s face, feathered snakelike body, random animal limbs, two different wings?” I asked, fearing he’d agree. The surprised nod Vic gave only worsened my concern over what had just happened. “Except mine also had a talking white horse in it. It was like she was trying to… protect me… or something standing close to me. I couldn’t make sense of it, it all happened so fast.”
Vic rubbed his chin. “I didn’t see any horses in mine. Just the monster you mentioned,” he replied. “This really is weird, how can we both dream about the same thing?”
“Do I look like a psychologist, Vic?” I asked sarcastically. Sighing, I ran my hands through my hair. “I’m sorry… it’s just… none of this makes sense…” I looked up sadly at my boyfriend. “And… well, I imagine we were both hoping for a much better night then we’d gotten.” I explained, trying to calm down. It wasn’t fair at all to take this out on him. “I… I’m sure there’s got to be some kind of logical explanation for this.”
“Let me get online, I’m sure I’ll find something!” Vic replied. “Well… maybe they’ll come off if we try real hard washing them? I think I have some acetone under the sink.”
I suppose it was worth a shot. That stuff got off a lot of things. Heading into the kitchen, Vic opened the cabinet beneath the sink and took out the small metal container, unscrewing it and pouring some on a wad of paper towel. I hiked my dress up again, sighing at the wolf-whistle he did in a no doubt valiant effort to lighten the mood and he began wiping the dampened paper towel where the strange marking had appeared. Moments later my skin began to turn red from irritation but the marking remained right where it was; not the slightest hint of fading. Shaking his head, Vic got a wet paper towel and wiped off the acetone that was left there.
“No good. I suppose we will have to resort to looking online.” I said dejectedly, heading back into the living room and switching on the desktop. Vic sat down in the chair once everything came on and ran searches while I stood behind him, leaning onto his shoulder.
A half hour of searching had given us no results as we sought out diseases with weird bruises appearing on one’s sides. I had the strangest feeling the answer was right under our noses the entire time as we shut down the computer, but with neither of us knowing where to look it was a lost cause at the moment. Right now, I felt like a mess, and some way to get my mind off it until we could make another attempt tomorrow when I got home from orchestra practice was an order before an early bedtime.
“Vic, how does a shower and bed early sound?” I asked. Normally Vic was a night owl when he was busy with his work, but as he’d taken the day off and had gotten up far earlier then what was usual for him, I’d hoped he’d take my offer.
Vic managed a smile. “For once, that sounds good to me,” he said, though his calm agreement and lack of his normally upbeat, eccentric demeanor told me all I needed that what had happened to us was worrying him deeply.
The rest of the night had gone without incident. We’d shared a shower(which regrettably did nothing to remove the strange markings we’d acquired), and turned in soon after, sleep having overcome us far easier then I’d expected it too with all the worry and stress, enough to make me wonder if what had happened had contributed somehow.
My sleep, however, was another story. The performance I had rehearsed for had finally come about; and we had done most spectacular the entire time, as I had imagined we would. Then, my moment came, accompanying the piano for a rendition of Moonlight Sonata.
I had my eyes closed as I lay the bow across the strings of my cello, and played. The music flowed out as my natural talent for it and years of practice had insured it would, but it was even more beautiful then I’d imagined. The world around me seemed to fade, only myself and the music I played were there. I imagined the serene, cloudless midnight sky illuminated by a beautiful full moon surrounded by countless stars that Beethovan’s masterpiece told me of, my body adrift as I continued to play…
As it came to a close, I opened my eyes, and saw the theater was different, now… I could not make out the audience. In fact, the theater appeared empty despite the applause I heard in the dark. As I looked around me, I realized I was alone, my orchestra gone as well. The applause died down till I heard only a single clapper who continued their apparent appreciation for me.
“Bravah, bravah, my dear…” the clapper’s voice said as he rose, it sounded familiar, somehow, but I couldn’t place it. As he stood I noticed he was tall and unusually thin as he began to approach the otherwise empty stage. I didn’t know why but I felt a growing discomfort as he passed each row and drew closer and closer to me, and as I was able to make him out more, I realized that whatever he was, he was not human at all.
Before he could step into the light, however, he just… vanished. Looking around, panic slowly building in me, the wall before me suddenly becoming a cinema screen and an old film of myself and Vic played on it, of our first date. On closer inspection, I realized something wrong in it…
Our eyes… why were they that color?
Before I could ponder this any further, I was suddenly grabbed on the shoulder. Turning, I found no one there; only a low, sinister laughter that seemed to echo all around as the film playing on the screen suddenly burned and melted apart, and in fine black print, a message appeared on the screen.
Five Score, Divided by Four.
“It won’t be much longer!” the voice from before taunted beside me, causing me to instinctively turn and there was the distorted monster from my earlier dream, sneering at me.
My eyes snapped open as I jerked straight up from my bed with a loud shudder; Vic stirring seconds later.
“Livvy?” he asked, turning on the light. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?”
Managing to stop hyperventilating, I ran my hand through my hair and looked over at him. “Sorry… just… awful dream.” I said.
“Need to talk about it?” he asked.
“N-no… it was just a dream, probably still a little shook up from earlier. Besides, I have somewhere to be tomorrow.” I replied. “Let’s just get back to sleep, alright?”
The kiss I gave him seemed to satisfy, and he laid back down, and I did the same shortly after. Whatever was going on, I really hoped to find answers, or that it’d go away soon. Preferably the latter. It was odd, but this seemed… familiar, somehow. I couldn’t put my finger on it but the monster in the dream seemed as though I’d seen him somewhere before.
How silly of me; believing in biological mishmash monsters and talking horses, it’s enough to make a girl look nothing short of utterly mad, and that was the last thing I needed anyone thinking of me.
“I cannot believe I’d have to be seen in such a place, Vic,” I said that following morning, facepalming. The musical tattoos were still there, and Vic had come up with a solution he had hoped would rid us of them.
“Come on, Livvy!” Vic protested. “Jake’s the one guy I know who’ll get these freaky tattoos off for half what you’d have to get anywhere else. Plus, he’s my pal; I’ve known him since college. Would your rather try and buy some sulfuric acid from the hardware store and try and get it off, yourself? No offense but I don’t see that ending well.”
He had a point. With my luck I’d probably end up destroying my hips just trying, which would lead to a hospital visit, which would lead to even more embarrassment explaining what had happened. “Fine, provided we both go.” I replied, finishing up my orange juice.
“That’s the spirit! I’ll make a call this afternoon I’m sure for me he’ll squeeze an appointment in.” Vic said, prompting a groan from me.
“Well, it’s certainly a relief we can get these things removed, but it doesn’t explain how they got there to begin with!” I said.
“Hey, we get rid of them, what’s it gonna matter? Maybe when they’re gone we can put it past us like a bad memory.” He replied.
“I can only hope so.” I said, picking up my dishes and putting them into the dishwasher after a quick rinse. Returning to the table, I picked up my purse and cello case and gave my boyfriend a kiss. “I’ll be back in a few hours. Try not to blow up the apartment with your mixing.”
“Aw, come on, Livvy! I only got us complained about that one time!” Vic protested.
“And if I didn’t love you so much, you’d have been one less girlfriend after that incident.” I teased as I walked out, closing the door behind me.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I took a quick moment to make sure I looked presentable. Even if it was just practice, I had a standard to always achieve, after all. Giving my rear-view mirror a grin I made sure nothing was in my teeth, and turned my head left, then right. Finally, I ran my fingers through my hair, making sure nothing was out of place. I paused when I noticed something odd, however.
Looking closely, my roots appeared… darker? That couldn’t be right, it had to be the lighting?
I ran my fingers through my hair, leaning in more and I swear some of my hair at the roots looked a great deal darker then my normal color. Did it have anything to do with… no, that’s just silly. It was hardly a big deal, anyway, I could tend to that after practice, anyway.
Getting out of the car and heading inside, I greeted the instructor and found my seat.
“Olivia! It’s so great that you made it!” a guy named Tim said, prompting me to roll my eyes. This kid was four years younger then me and a complete git who didn’t grasp the fact I had a boyfriend of several years that despite our contrasting behaviors we were quite solid.
“Yes, I’ll have you know Vic and I celebrated our anniversary and our birthday yesterday. It went… quite lovely. I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend.” I said, feigning a level of satisfaction despite that the night had been anything but that, but whatever further dissuaded this boy’s unsettling crush on me without making a fool of myself was not going to be passed up. I could only hope the instructor would be so good as to move us around at some point so that I may sit as far away from this nuisance as I could.
The next hour went without incident, but as we got through to the end of one of the songs and prepared for our break, the insufferable boy felt the need to speak to me once again despite my earlier attempts to drive him off.
“Hey, did you do something with your hair?” He suddenly asked, getting another eyeroll out of me.
“Yes, I thought I’d try layering, add a darker shade underneath.” I replied.
“Uh, no offense and don’t take this the wrong way but I think you went seriously overboard choosing black.” He said.
“I don’t think that’s for you to—” I froze. Black? Did he say BLACK? When I looked earlier the darker part clearly looked to be a shade of brown. How could it look black in a more well-lit place?
“Miss Ravensdale? Are you alright?” The instructor asked.
“Um… no, could you… excuse me, a moment?” I asked, getting up. “I need to visit the restroom.”
Before my instructor could answer I fled to the restroom, which was thankfully empty as I ran in front of the mirror to see what Tim was talking about. It did not take long to find out.
My hair… the once honey-blonde hair was now tainted with a portion of black! “How… how is this possible?!” I stammered, running my hands through my hair and discovering some parts of it had turned completely black already, and the bun I’d placed it in now looked rather sloppy; as though my hair had grown a few inches longer in a matter of moments! I didn’t have a hat or anything to cover it with, and it was sure to get noticed if I stayed any longer as it was clearly getting worse!
I had to think of something… anything to get out of here; as much as I did not wish to miss cello practice the number of questions and stares I was certain to get were not worth it in the least! Was this connected to…?
I tugged down my skirt to look at my hip, where the purple treble clef tattoo was. Did that have anything to do with this? It was ridiculous! Magic and curses and witchcraft were pure rubbish, and here I am thinking otherwise! If something was happening to me, what if something was happening to Vic as well?
As if to answer that question, my cellphone suddenly chimed in my purse. Taking it out, I saw it had indeed come from my boyfriend. Taking a deep breath, I looked at the text message he sent me.
Honey? Something seriously fucked up is going on here! Please get home as soon as you can!
Vic could be rather crude in his vocabulary from time to time, but ever since dating me he’s toned it down considerably. Unless he were extremely angry, or worried out of his mind he would never use that word. I looked at my reflection again, then back at the message. Did his hair start to change as well? I’d find out soon enough.
Calm down. I’m on my way.
I replied, switching off my phone and returning to the concert hall.
“My apologies… I need to leave immediately.” I said hastily, holding up my phone briefly as I hurried over to my cello case. Tim stared at me like I had a cat taped to my head and I just gave him an annoyed look as I picked up my instrument and headed out the door before anyone could say anything. Getting into my car, I undid my hairbun and shook my hair out, staring at my reflection in the rear-view mirror as I saw my hair now had numerous black streaks running through it that seemed to be getting more and more prominent over my original color. Whatever was going on, it was affecting both Vic and myself, and who knew what would happen next.
After a frantic drive home, I took a quick glance in the mirror and noticed even more of my hair had darkened, but that was hardly anything in comparison to what else I noticed now.
My eyes looked different. Leaning in, I could see why; they’d turned from green to purple.
“Oh god… what’s going on?!” I cried out, staring at them for a moment before remembering Vic was probably still waiting for me back inside so I quickly got out of the car and headed to the door, unlocking it and stepping in. The moment I did, I found Vic sitting on the couch, his headphones around his neck as always but what I’d seen happen to myself paled to what had happened to him.
Vic’s once-brown hair was now much longer then it was and had turned an electric-blue color.
“You too, huh?” He asked, staring up at me in awe. “It’s crazy, here I was mixing my tracks, and suddenly my hair keeps getting in my face and over my ears. I ignored it at first, but then it just kept happening and I realized that my hair shouldn’t be long enough to do that! So I get to the bathroom and… well imagine this but with a little less blue, but enough for me to message you about it!” he explained.
“Vic? Let me see your eyes.” I said simply.
“What? Why?” he asked.
“Just… let me. Something else I’m concerned about.” I explained, sitting down next to him and leaning close so I could get a look. The moment I did, however, he immediately flinched back.
“Jesus Christ, Livvy! Your eyes are purple!” he shouted, scooting back.
“Yes. I’m aware. It seems to have happened on the way home. Now let me look at yours.” I said firmly, and soon enough, my fears were confirmed.
“Well?” he asked.
“Your eyes…” I said. “They’re… like an off-red. Magenta, I think it’s called.”
“What?! No way!” Vic replied, getting up and heading to the bathroom. The shudder I anticipated came seconds after from the bathroom that prompted me to get up and follow him. Entering the bathroom, I found Vic standing in front of the mirror; his eyes and mouth wider then I’d ever seen them before in my life.
“This is so fucked up… I got a gig at a club in two days! What am I gonna do?” He protested.
“Well, with long blue hair and eyes like that, I imagine you’ll fit in quite nicely in a place like the one you’re having it in.” I replied dryly. I, on the other hand, looked like I was drawing ever-closer to fitting in with one of those gothic crowds.
“This isn’t time for jokes, Livvy!” he said. “What if something else happens? I mean, seriously! Blue hair! Where does that make sense?” He tugged the side of his cargo pants down, staring at the eighth-note tattoo. “It’s gotta be this, right? Weird tattoos, now hair and eye color changes?! I’m worried what’ll come after!”
I didn’t have any answers. I prided myself on a sense of practicality but this was beyond anything I could find a logical explanation for, now. “I… I don’t know, Vic.” I said. “We should look online again. There has to be something we missed.”
Vic sighed, brushing back all the blue hair. “It’s worth a shot…” He said.
As we returned to the living room and switched on the computer once again, and pulled up Google as we hoped to find something that connected to strange hair and eye color changes accompanying weird tattoos. An hour of searching and Vic getting distracted by news of a new game he’d been waiting on that he insisted on downloading the trailer to as a means of a break brought us nothing. We tried several word combinations for searches and still nothing.
“This is bloody ridiculous!” I snapped. “I feel like whatever we’re searching for is sitting right under our noses the entire time!” I said as Vic continued typing in for tattoos, hair color changes, weird dreams, chimera monsters, and eventually for colored talking horses thanks to what I’d described seeing earlier when we both blacked out.
The last one brought up an image from that old show that aired a couple years back, prompting a facepalm from me.
“This is getting us nowhere. Maybe I should take over,” I said. “…what in the blazes is a ‘cutie mark’?” I wondered, noticing a thread linking to a site associated with that show making mention of something by that name appearing on them back on May first.
“Aside from a word my manly pride keeps me from saying out loud, I have no idea. But that show’s fanbase is full of weirdos.” Vic said with a sigh as he kept scrolling. “I need a drink,” he muttered, getting up from the chair and immediately toppling over.
“Vic! Are you alright?” I asked, rushing over to help him up.
“Yeah, just… weird, I feel like my feet just sorta locked up or something,” he said. I looked down, he had on his usual black socks but he seemed to be assuming the ‘tiptoe’ position.
“Can you try unbending them?” I asked. Vic strained a little, but seemed unable to move his foot out of that position. Sighing, I crouched down and put my hands on it, trying to force his foot into neutral position but he only shuddered in pain when I did.
“This is rather unusual.” I said.
“What about yours?” he asked. It was then I realized I’d yet to take off my shoes; which were full high heels so if the same had happened to me it would have probably not felt much different to me. Taking the chair, I crossed my legs so I could remove my shoes more easily, Vic watching my legs for a moment and prompting a brief, amused smile from me as he’d all but forgotten the situation we were in. As I took them off, I tried standing up again, only to notice my feet had locked into position as well.
“What is going on here?!” I asked, trying in vain to flatten my feet out but to no avail. Trying to stand left me wobbly at best and as uncomfortable as high heels could get after awhile I decided a little support was better then none at this point so I immediately slid my shoes back on.
“First we black out together, now our hair changes color and we can’t even stand right? What the hell’s gonna happen next?” Vic asked, exasperated now.
“You had to ask?” I muttered.
“What do you me—” his eyes widened. “Livvy… your ears!” he said, pointing.
I brought my hands to my ears, and shuddered when I noticed they felt pointier. “What the… yours too!” I replied, noticing the same had happened to Vic, and he immediately brought his hands to his own ears and confirmed my claims.
“What IS this?! Some kind of new disease? Some voodoo curse by someone who hates us?!” Vic demanded.
I honestly didn’t believe in such nonsense, and even if I did, I couldn’t think of anyone who hated both of us enough to want us disfigured. Again, the internet didn’t seem to have answers but I doubted this was something anyone would post about and expect to be taken seriously.
“I don’t know…” I said softly, retreating to the couch and sighing in defeat. At this rate I was more worried then ever what tomorrow was going to bring with whatever was happening to us. I felt Vic sit down beside me and put his arms around me, holding me close.
“Hey, Livvy…” he said, “we’ve been through a lot together, crazy stuff here and there, we’ll get through this, too.”
I turned a little and rested in his arms. I was unsure to believe his words, but the fact he was here, with me now, had given me some much-needed assurance.
We’d spent the next hour laying on the couch, in eachothers’ arms trying to stay calm but neither of us could think of anything to say that could make either of us feel better, Vic even didn’t seem to mind the classical music I turned on in the meantime and actually stayed awake for it. Honestly, I never understood how he could normally doze off from such beautiful masterpieces, unlike that dreadful noise I often had to listen to when he tested out the music he mixed… interesting how my thoughts on our clashing music tastes managed to keep my mind elsewhere, even for a little while.
Dinner was not an easy thing to handle when neither of us could walk quite right anymore. I never expected I’d actually need high heels to maintain my balance but I guess there was a first time for everything. I’d spent much of my time in the kitchen preparing tortellini while Vic remained in the living room, wanting to walk as little as possible with our latest problem. I was about to taste-test when I heard Vic shudder in the living room. Forgetting dinner and heading into the living room, I found him sitting there, holding a long heap of hair that matched his own in color. Not only that, but his ears had now moved up to the top of his head and now looked like a cat’s… or a horse’s maybe.
“Vic! What happened to you?!” I asked. “What is that you’re holding?”
“I have a fucking TAIL, Livvy!” Vic shouted, then he suddenly pointed at me. “Y-your ears! Th-they’re—”
Instinctively I brought my hands up to my ears and found they’d become the same way Vic’s was, and it was then I noticed the odd feeling at the base of my back. As I was wearing a skirt, I found it more comfortable to reach under and pull loose what was there. In seconds I noticed I now had a long tail of hair matching how my own now looked that now hung from under my skirt.
“Holy shit! You have one too!” Vic observed.
“Thank you for noticing!” I replied, holding the end of it in my hand and staring at the fine black hair it consisted of. It almost looked like some kind of… horse tail?
“There’s no way this can be some kind of illness,” Vic muttered, still staring at his own.
“What manner of illness causes a muscle lock in one’s feet, makes their ears go on top of their heads, makes them grow tails, and causes hair color changes on top of that?!”
Vic gave no answer.
“What do you propose we do, Vic? Go to the doctor, perhaps?” I asked.
“What? No way! We look like total freaks they’ll probably want to turn us into science experiments and sell our kidneys when they’re done!” Vic protested, prompting an eyeroll from me. While I found the notion of us being dissected rather absurd, I did not feel entirely comfortable at the idea of going out like this now that I thought about it.
“Just… let me at least get dinner. We can discuss what we’ll do, then.” I said, needing something, anything to keep me from panicking. Hurrying back to the kitchen and cringing as I felt my new tail brushing against my legs I finished stirring the sauce into the stuffed pasta noodles and put them on two plates, with a salad for us both to share. Bringing them into the living room with little trouble despite my new complications thanks to my experience waiting tables, Vic and I began on dinner, and I tried to ignore the slight discomfort of sitting on my new tail.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d done something different with the salad. The tortellini seemed oddly sub-par…
“Whoa, Livvy! Did you do something new with the salad?” Vic suddenly asked. Vic was normally someone I had to pick and choose vegetables for, so this kind of reaction was unexpected. I took a bite myself and had to admit, it was a lot better-tasting then I remembered, and we hadn’t grocery-shopped too recently so I wouldn’t have expected it to be much different.
“This is odd…” I mused, taking another bite and wanting more.
“Hey, don’t hog it!” Vic protested, stabbing his fork into the bowl and grabbing more for himself, somehow forgetting all about the main course.
“Vic!” I shouted. “This is rather uncharacteristic of you! Normally I’d have the majority of the salad and you’d barely touch it! Has this gone unnoticed by you?” I asked.
Vic took a moment and pondered what I’d said, then stared at the bowl for a moment, an obvious longing in his eyes like I’d just offered him a slice of cake if he could sit still in front of it for a minute. “This is weird…” he muttered, looking back at his otherwise untouched dinner. If he ever took any salad it was get it out of the way, now he was trying to wolf it down. “Do you think… all of this has anything to do with it?” he asked.
“It might… I won’t lie, the salad does taste unusually better then the dinner I made, and we both know years of working in a restaurant made sure that I’m a lovely cook.” I replied. “But a sudden change of diet, now?”
“What’s in the tortellini?” Vic asked, trying some of his dinner but seeming less impressed then he usually was from it.
“Italian sausage. Your favorite.” I replied, not sure if I should be offended by his apparent dislike for it he was showing, then again with what was going on it was probably the least of our worries right now.
“Jeez, is it turning us into vegans or something?” he asked, taking another bite from the salad. As he did, however, my boyfriend flinched and rubbed his forehead. “Whoa… babe, I got a headache coming,” he muttered, “SHIT!” the moment he said this, the thing that, despite all that had occurred, easily topped all of them happened. I sat there staring in wide-eyed shock as he then looked at me in confusion.
“What? What happened?” he asked urgently.
I kept staring, the words not able to leave my mouth.
“What the FUCK?!” I demanded, feeling the horn that was growing from my forehead.
“Vinyl, please, I’m freaked out, too, alright?” Olivia pleaded, putting her hands on my shoulders.
Hold the phone, what did she say?
“…The hell did you just call me?” I asked, surprised and more then a little confused.
“I…” Olivia sat there, confused for a moment. “D-didn’t I call you what I usually do?”
“I swear you said “vinyl”,” I replied. What kind of name was that? Sounded like something a person trying too hard to be punk-style would call themselves at a rave. “Look, I may be a freelance deejay who plays for clubs and such but I haven’t been an active raver in a while, Livvy!”
Olivia shook her head. “That’s weird, it just seemed natural.”
“Great,” I muttered, falling back on the sofa. “We get freaky music-themed tramp-stamps, crazy hair, animal parts like some fuckin’ anime fetish, I grow a fuckin’ horn and now you’re callin’ me weird-ass names?!”
“You think I have an explanation for this?” Olivia asked, apparently deciding my justified panic and frustration was reason enough not to criticize my language.
“If you got any, Tavi, I’m happy to hear ‘em.” I said, facepalming.
A second later my eyes widened and I looked at Olivia, who looked more then a little shocked.
“You just called me “Tavi”…” she cocked her head in confusion. “We both had strange dreams, right? They seem somehow connected, right?”
“This happened to us at the same time, and we seem to be experiencing very similar symptoms.” Olivia explained. “Right down to calling eachother strange names.”
“Oh god… Your parents! They musta cursed us or something! You know how pissed they were!” I shouted.
“Cursed?! What?!” Olivia demanded. “My parents have been uptight, God-fearing British conservatives their entire lives, Vic. Even if voodoo or sodding witchcraft were real they’d be the last people who’d go near the stuff.”
“But what about the freaky dragon-thing from our dreams, Oc—Olivia?!” …the fuck was I about to call her?! “What about that? Someone summon that to do this to us?”
“I…” Olivia began, and suddenly she looked rather… drowsy. “Vic… I… don—” with that, her eyes closed and she slumped over on me, and soon after I could feel a light-headedness hit me as well, like I’d just been hit with the world’s worst caffine crash and it wasn’t long till I was out like a light as well…
A sudden light hit my face through the window, prompting me to shake my head and turn away. Rubbing my eyes and realizing my new blue ‘do had gotten longer then before, I grumbled a little and turned towards the small digital clock that sat on the nearby table.
“Noon already?!” I cried out, causing Livvy to stir as well next to me and I promptly remembered us both falling asleep on the couch last night… well, more like passed out, but still.
My eyes widened for a second when I realized my voice seemed different. I was barely a baritone but my voice sure as hell wasn’t as high or… girly… as that sounded.
“For God’s sake, Vinyl, go back to sleep!” Olivia muttered in protest as she threw her arm over her eyes when she turned towards the sunlight.
Wait, she just called me that name again… “Excuse me?” I asked, surprised by my voice again.
“I said—“ Livvy’s eyes snapped open and she turned to look over at me. “…What in the world is wrong with your voice?” she asked, raising an eyebrow in confusion.
I tried to clear my throat. “Dunno…” I tried clearing my throat a few more times, but my voice stayed the same, “Okay, seriously, I get a horn and my voice goes from a low tenor to… alto?! What the hell’s next?” I asked as I got up from the couch… and promptly fell over from the unfamiliar feeling that came when what should have been my feet touched the floor.
Turning, I saw Olivia staring at me, or more accurately where my feet were. Positioning myself as though I were doing the front half of a push-up, I turned and looked, and needless to say yesterday’s weird changes clearly had gone into some new and creative ways.
My feet were gone, replaced by white fucking HOOVES, with a soft-looking white fur growing up to about halfway to my knees. Clearly coming to the same conclusion I did, my girlfriend turned and looked at her own legs while I turned over and sat myself up.
Olivia’s stockings were torn below the knees, her feet having gone through a similar change though they were a slate-gray instead of the white I had.
“I just had to ask…” I muttered with an eyeroll. “What in the hell’s going on?!”
“You think I’m not wondering that myself?!” my girlfriend asked, getting off the couch and attempting to stand, albeit rather wobbly at first. “I’m getting online. It can’t be just us, I’m going to see if anything new has come up.”
“Good luck,” I replied, trying to stand up as well. “I’ll be right back.” With that, I awkwardly stumbled and staggered my way down the hall towards the bathroom to take care of some business.
The first thing I noticed came when I passed the mirror, causing me to freeze in place. My eyes looked a little larger, and my face was devoid of even so much as a five o’ clock shadow. My jaw, the curvature of my features looked very… feminine.
“Damn… if it weren’t for the ears and stuff I’d pass for a chick…” I muttered, feeling my smooth face before remembering why I came in here. Wobbling clumsily to the porcelain altar, I undid my belt and prepared to do my business.
“Vic?! What’s wrong?!” Olivia shouted from the other side of the door, making me realize I’d forgotten to lock it as she turned the knob and carefully entered, balancing on the door frame.
I didn’t move from where I sat. I just kept trying in vain to slow down my breathing as I stared down at my latest discovery that had prompted the loudest scream I think I’ve ever made in my life. “L…L-Livvy?” I stammered.
“What is it, Vin—... I mean, Vic… what’s wrong?” Olivia asked, slowly approaching.
“Livvy… I think we got something in common, now,” I mumbled, pointing between my legs. Normally Olivia was far too refined(read: prudish) to dedicate a lot of her attention to what I had below the belt, but apparently she decided to humor me long enough to see what I was talking about, and I gotta say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her eyes get that wide before.
“Vic, how… what… WHERE?!” she stammered, reasonably astonished.
“Three questions I’d like to fuckin’ know!” I shouted indignantly, hurriedly pulling my cargo shorts back up. “Well, three outta four. The last one being how flexible you are with your preferences but somehow I doubt that one’s important right now…”
It was petty, no question about it, but at this point I was losing everything! My manhood, my humanity, no doubt my life in the long run if this freakish mutation kept going, Olivia… she was the one part of my life I couldn’t bear to lose over anything else.
Olivia stayed quiet for a moment, she was always the rational, logical one who tried to keep calm in any situation; it was a trait her parents practically programmed into her along with her more uptight tendencies. Finally, she spoke up. “Vic…?”
“Yeah, Tavi?” I asked, wincing when I realized I’d called her something else. “S-sorry… I… god, what’s happening to us?! Did you find anything online?”
“In the entire three minutes you were gone? No,” Olivia replied flatly. “Look, if you’re up to it, we can take a look.”
Sighing, I walked towards the mirror, trying to keep my balance and noticing my clothes were slightly more… limp-looking on me. Was I getting smaller? For a moment I felt a little captivated by what looked back at me. I really did look like an… unnervingly reasonably attractive young woman, now. A young, flat-chested woman with hooves, a tail, and animal ears, but still… no, this wasn’t something I planned to ever be in the fifty or so years I expected to still have left and it just left a bad aftertaste, animal-hybrid-thing or not.
“Vic? Are you alright…?” Olivia asked, before presumably realizing how silly the question was. “…enough to at least come with me?” she added.
“Yeah, sure.” I muttered, looking down at my legs again… weird, did the white fur just get… higher up or was I imagining it? A quick glance at Olivia’s legs told me she was experiencing the same thing.
“What in the world?” Olivia muttered a half hour later, staring at the odd posts when she ran a search. “People turning into… ponies? What sort of rubbish is this? Why ponies of all things?!”
“Retro-virus that turns people into animals?” I asked.
“Vic, that’s absurd… even for this. Something like that would require the re-awakening of dormant genes in the human body and regress us on an evolutionary level. We’d turn into several levels of primate long before anything remotely resembling a horse,” she explained matter-of-factly.
“Well aren’t you quite the geneticist,” I mused.
“Only because one of us didn’t sleep through their mandatory science classes in college,” she answered. “At any rate, let’s see what this one’s talking about…” she said, her hand a little clumsier then usual with the mouse.
“You alright?” I asked, noticing her odd delays in clicking and pointing the small tool.
“Yes, just… weird, my fingers feel kind of… numb for some reason,” she said, holding up her hand. “What in the blazes…?!” she said, and looking at her hand I could have sworn her fingers looked smaller then usual, and her nails seemed thicker as well. Fearing the same for myself I raised up my right hand, inhaling deeply when I saw I was experiencing the same thing.
“So this is what’s happening to us?!” I asked. “We’re gonna lose our hands, too?”
“I think… I think so…” she replied, clicking on a link that led to images from that silly girls’ show.
“No, no way, those are TV characters!” I said. “They’re made up! These people are just crazy fanboys obsessing over a show for girls!”
“Look at the bloody evidence, Vic! I know denial’s kicking in for you, you think I want to believe this either but even I can’t deny this anymore because it goes beyond anything logical! Strange tattoos, hair changing color and length, hooves, ears, horns, tails… other things…” she gestured just below my belt.
I looked down, brushing back my wild blue hair… or was it a mane, now? It seemed to be running down my neck as well, now. I couldn’t live in denial about this, ironically one would have expected Livvy would be the one having a harder time believing it but what I discovered went missing this morning had been… well… the big cherry. As Sherlock Holmes once said about the logical and the illogical…
“Hey, maybe we can, I dunno, get an idea of what we’re gonna look like when this is over,” I muttered. If I was going to get through this, and try to keep myself as rational-minded as possible to be the strong one for Olivia… I wanted to slap myself, I’d been so pathetic back there, arguing and denying what was right in front of me, grieving over my loss… as grievous as it was… “The tattoo things, what did they call them when we looked this up yesterday?”
“Cutie marks,” Olivia answered. God, that word sounded ridiculous just thinking about it. Seriously, who names it that?!
“Right, those things. If ponies from that show all have them, maybe they got a collection of them, we can find a match to whatever pony has it, they seem to think they’re turning into characters who were in that show.”
Olivia complied and did a search, and we found a… cutie mark… motherload. Scrolling through them, we finally found a purple treble clef one and clicked on it. The image had the caption “Octavia Melody’s cutie mark” written underneath. Curious, we gave it a click and we were treated to an image of a gray mare with a flowing black mane, somehow managing to play a cello with her hoof.
“How is she even holding that thing?” Olivia asked.
“Ya know, it’s kinda weird, it says she’s a cellist from some upper-class orchestra in a place called Canterlot,” I said, reading the description and grimacing at the ridiculous pun in the city name. “Sound familiar?”
“No, Vic, it…” Livvy’s eyes widened in realization.
“You grew up in a family of high-and-mighty rich people, and you’ve been into that boring classical music your whole life… no offense… and hell, you play the cello!”
“Well then…” Olivia muttered, running her hand through her long, raven mane. “If it’s not some coincidence, what does it all mean? The show came out back in 2010, I’ve had an interest in performing classical music a great deal longer,” she went back to the cutie marks gallery and began scrolling again. “Why don’t we see which one yours connects to…”
“Whoa…” my eyes widened when the blue-maned mare in sunglasses came onscreen. “Wait, I recognize her! She was in that episode I flipped through!”
“Says here she’s a deejay who likes that same horrid noise your customers ask you to make,” Olivia answered. “Well, I wouldn’t happen to know anyone like that,” she said, looking at me.
“Okay, yeah. I… jeez…” I stared at the pony on the screen. “That couldn’t have been what I’m gonna look like… is it?” Forget having a job or even a life, then. Me and Livvy… we’d never be able to leave the house anymore. We’d get grabbed by animal control or something!
“Crap! We gotta stock up on food and stuff!” I said.
“And go out like this? Don’t you think someone will notice?” Olivia asked.
“I got a trench somewhere,” I offered.
“In the final month of spring you’re going to wear something suited for cold, rainy days?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “We have plenty of food to last us through the week… but, then again if we look like those horridly cutesy cartoon horses by then it probably will be a great deal harder to pull off buying more… but if our diets are changing…”
Right… I remembered last night, the meat, as meager portion as they were didn’t appeal as much to me when I was eating it last night, and I couldn’t get enough salad. Right, I knew my animals enough to know horses were herbivores. “Well, horses can eat oats and grains so rice and pasta-related products will probably work. Salad stuff, too, and plenty of sweet snacks!” I suggested, getting a look from my girlfriend on the last one.
Within the next half hour Olivia and I had a grocery list and had gotten into the car looking like we came out of a B-spy flick and were on our way to the nearest convenience store. Needless to say, I felt ridiculous, and this hat was doing a lousy job hiding my new horn without it looking like it was placed too far over.
By the time we’d reached the store (and I can also address that car seats were not meant to handle tails like this), a quick glance in the rear-view mirror made me notice the changes had gotten worse. My teeth were all flat, and my eyes looked larger and more… angled, approaching anime girl territory. Great, I really was going to turn into a bug-eyed horse-thing after all. Shoes had been out of the question and the back where my heel had once been had gone farther up, along with the fur growing along them. Olivia had done her best to hide her anxiety but I could see it clear as day. By now we looked like some kind of satyrs, hopefully if we kept our coats closed it’d be less obvious, considering along the way we seemed to have lost a few inches on our original heights as well.
“Okay, we do this fast and quick, all right?” Olivia asked. “I already feel ridiculous like this.”
“Sure, sure.” I said, trying to take the lead and wobbling a lot more then before. As we got through the sliding doors it was no surprise we were met with a few stares. Almost everyone there looked ready for the summer and here we were looking ridiculously conspicuous in trenchcoats and the first hats we found in our closets; which was a beret for Olivia and a fedora for me.
“Don’t mind us. We’re doing a… cos-play thing, there’s a shoot going on nearby, we’re… on food duty.” I attempted, and either they bought it or just didn’t want to be near the two weirdos that had just entered. As we reached the produce section I felt a smack on my shoulder.
“Keep it under control,” Olivia ordered, and I realized my tail had been flicking about, prompting me to make the no doubt stupid-looking action of pressing my ass against the side of the display in some poorly-conceived attempt to make it stop. A small child stared at us for a moment and I responded with a wave while Olivia found a few choice selections and placed them in the cart, including more apples then I’d ever seen her want.
“Tavi? What’re you doing?” I asked.
“Oh… huh…” my girlfriend replied, noticing her selections before glancing at me. “Did you just call me…?”
Tavi? Wait, did I? Tavi… Octavia? Like that pony’s name? But how did I get that nickname? Usually nicknames didn’t happen till you got used to the full name enough to improvise one, or if the person made it clear when introducing themselves that they preferred a nickname they’d gone by. “Sorry. Look, we should probably hurry like you said.”
“Right. Drinks are next.”
After plenty of stares and people keeping their distance from us, we were soon on our way back to the car again. As I looked over at Olivia I envied my girlfriend for getting to lean on a grocery cart while I still had to wobble and stumble on my own, but then again, I’d hardly be the gentleman if I didn’t let her… even if I was in literal terms no longer one but figuratively it was something I could hold on to. As we started loading the trunk I couldn’t help but feel a little thirsty. Grabbing the six-pack from the cart I carried it towards the front so we could enjoy one on the way home, having settled for the more expensive bottles at the realization neither of us would have fingers to open cans eventually. When Olivia closed the lid and made her way to the passenger side, I tore one bottle loose and opened the top to take a sip.
“HEY! YOU!” a male voice suddenly shouted, causing me to turn, seeing a rather lean-looking man approaching us.
“Ex-CUSE me?” I asked, put off by his rather harsh tone.
“How about some ID for those drinks?” he demanded, pulling something from his neck. Great, one of those undercover cops who look for people buying alcohol.
“Dude, believe me, I’ve gone through a lot of changes lately so I haven’t updated it yet, but look, this isn’t—”
“SHUT UP,” the policeman snapped, cutting me off sharply as two more people began to approach. “I’d be crazy to let people dressed like you go anywhere without some ID.”
“This ISN’T beer, pal!” I snapped back, about to reach into the car to show him the bottle but he promptly yelled at me again.
“GET AWAY FROM THAT CAR!” he shouted, and I suddenly heard a click that made me a great deal more afraid. “Turn around SLOW and take that hat and coat off NOW!”
Seriously, cops these days like their jobs a little too much… I thought to myself, Olivia now looking noticeably scared, too.
“You! In there! Step out right now!” the second cop ordered, Olivia held her hands up and nodded nervously, opening the door and coming out.
Slowly, I took off my hat and shed my coat off, causing all three of our county’s finest to shuffle back a little in shock.
“What kinda freaks are you people?!” the third one asked, getting a look of annoyance from the first one.
“Look, there’s been a huge misunder—” I attempted.
“Did I SAY you could talk, Miss?” the first one asked.
“Officer, we didn’t do anything wrong, we just, we’re going to a dress-up event, we were getting drinks and, if you’d just LOOK, they’re not—”
“Shut UP and get ON THE GROUND!” the first one demanded. “I’ll decide what’s going on here, but you’re both already being placed under arrest for resisting, refusal to show ID, and suspicious activity.”
“EXCUSE ME?!” I shouted indignantly, the second one responding to my outburst by swatting me in the back with a baton.
“VINYL!” Olivia shouted, the first one immediately rushing over and shoving her violently to the ground, causing her to cry out.
If this went on my record, I didn’t care. If I still got caught and faced jailtime for this, I didn’t care. No one, no one treated Olivia like that, badge or no badge as an excuse to do so. “That’s my girlfriend you piece of shit!” I yelled, about to lay whatever hurt I could on him but what happened next surprised… well… everyone I suspect.
The first officer was suddenly hit by a bolt of light-blue energy that seemed to fly out from just above my head, and it sent him rocketing across the parking lot a good thirty feet away, making him drop his gun in the process as he tumbled a few good feet after. Olivia stared at me, her eyes and mouth equally wide in shock as I rushed over and helped her up, turning and glaring at the other two undercover cops as I reached into the car, throwing the bottle at their feet. “There!” I shouted lividly as I pushed Olivia into the car and got in while they just stared at me in disbelief. Honestly, I had no idea what had happened either, but I wanted to get as far away from these people before the shock wore off from them or the guy that was now all the way across the parking lot got back up and armed himself again. Flooring the pedal we sped off before either of them hopefully got a chance to see the plate.
“What… in the world… was that?!” Olivia asked, finally regaining her breath as we pulled into our parking lot and got to our apartment door. Our efforts to carry our things had become clumsy to say the least. Our hooves and legs had changed even more on the trip back, and the numbness in our hands had gotten worse to the point it was becoming a challenge to even hold the bags anymore.
“I don’t know!” I said. “I just remembered being really ticked off when that douchebag cop manhandled you like that and just… zap!”
“Well, I remembered when we looked at that pony… Vinyl Scratch… she was a unicorn. Unicorns have magic, maybe you have it now, too?” she asked.
“Magic? Cool!” I said, before noticing her glare. “Well, on that, not on… everything else…” I muttered, looking down at myself. Great, my clothes were even more baggy on me then before, and Olivia clearly wasn’t any better off when I looked at her.
“And then there’s another matter, Vinyl…” she said, opening the door as we carefully went inside.
“Yeah, what?” I asked. “That it just occurred to both of us that not having hands is gonna make cooking harder?”
Olivia facepalmed. “No…” she said. “The part where you assaulted a policeman and we fled the scene!”
“Hey, that asshole was hurting you, and those guys are clearly not cut out for their job if they’re gonna use the Gestapo approach for it!” I protested.
“Does it matter?! They’ll be looking for us!” she replied.
“Well, I don’t think they saw our plate in time, Tavi, and what’re they gonna say? That they saw two half-horse-things one used the Force to throw one of their guys across the parking lot because they decided beating us up over a misunderstanding on their part was a-okay?” I asked. “If I hadn’t stopped ‘em, we’d be going to the hospital before jail!”
Olivia sighed and stared at me. “I am… thankful you stopped him… but this could still cause us trouble.”
“Let ‘em do a search, we don’t look much at all like anyone who exists anymore,” I muttered, staring at my hands and seeing how my fingers looked more nubby, now.
“Even then, our choices on what to do next are rather limited, especially if we end up looking like those characters we saw online,” Olivia replied. “As for the cooking problem, we may want to make dinner while we still can…”
Two hours had gone by, and both of us had been on edge, with me occasionally stealing glances out the window in case any police cars appeared but thankfully we didn’t see a single one. Dinner had been rice and salad, a pretty bland choice but clearly my tastes were changing as I found them incredibly satisfying, now. Not all had been good news, though. They were still looking for the ones behind the explosion in Washington, and the changes… god, they were getting way worse, way quicker! I looked over at my girlfriend as she sat there on the couch, downcast and ignoring the news on the TV. Much like me, she now looked less and less human. Her eyes were larger, now, her face had become more muzzle-like, her chest completely flat now and her fingers were now fusing together like mine were. She kept herself facing away from me, I know she didn’t want me to see her that way.
What was gonna happen to us? Whenever this finished… would we ever change back? Was there a way to? It felt like we were just… waiting to die or something! I grit my teeth, not wanting to tear up, I never wanted to tear up especially around her but with this new body and new hormones I had already been a little more emotional then before; my lash out on that cop and my complaints earlier had proven that.
“Hey, Tavi?” I asked.
“Yes, Vinyl?” my girlfriend replied. It was weird, the names we’d known our whole lives were feeling less and less natural, now. I didn’t even wince at being called Vinyl anymore, and she reacted to what I’d called her like she’d been called it her whole life.
“Do… do you… still love me?” I asked, nervously.
“Of course I do! How could you ask me that?!” she demanded, turning indignantly.
“Even if… even if we’re both chicks, now?”
Livvy went silent for a moment, as if the thought was suddenly occurring to her. “I… I hadn’t thought of that… I can still say I love you and mean every word, though,” she insisted. “You’re noisy, crude, messy, and…” her expression softened. “…the kindest, most loving person I’ve ever met. You were willing to get to know me even though I didn’t seem at all like the kind of girl you’d go for… you didn’t treat me like another spoiled rich girl, and… Vin—… Vic I can’t have you see me this way!”
“Hello, earth to Livvy?” I asked. “I got a sex change thrown into my mix! And hey, human or horse-thing, you’re still the prim, prudish, oh-so-refined… but still sweet and caring woman I fell head over heels for, right?” I asked.
“That’s the thing, we’re barely remembering to use eachother’s names, now. What else can change with that?” she asked.
“These characters, it looks like we’re a lot like them already, even the part about when you’d barge in on me when I’m mixing and complain about it being noise,” I replied.
“It IS noise, Vinyl!” Tavi replied indignantly.
“You call that classical stuff music? Try sleeping aid!” I shot back.
“Never seemed to bother you when you came to the concerts,’ she answered smugly.
“You said you’d come to that college rave with me and then backed out because you supposedly got sick.”
“Considering the police broke it up and arrested half the people there, I’d say it was fortunate of me.”
A long pause went between us, and surprisingly… we both started laughing.
“It’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it?” I asked, managing a smile from our gallows humor moment.
“Yes… I suppose it has…” my girlfriend replied, sadness and uncertainty in her tone, neither of which I could blame. There really was no telling what was going to happen next…
As if to answer that, however, a sudden, disembodied laughter caught both our attention, and looking at the TV, I saw that freakish chimera-dragon-thing there, grinning at us.
Immediately my body felt numb all over, the fur that had covered nearly my entire body now rapidly spread to my hands and up my neck, the same clearly happening to Olivia as she shed off her blouse, her fingers now fusing together completely and her nails growing ever-thicker and covering where they’d been. I felt the numbness extend to my face and could see where my nose had been had begun to expand and push out, Olivia struggled, and I could see her shrinking! My clothes felt looser and looser as I tried to frantically take my shirt off before I was swimming in it, and as I reached for my girlfriend, I could see her changing face grow more dizzy-looking and blackness began to overwhelm me as well and a second later, everything faded from me.
My eyes snapped open and instinctively I flailed about on the couch I’d passed out on. What had been happening before I’d lost consciousness had been frightening beyond belief. That hideous thing appearing on our telly, and then the changes just… accelerated!
The changes! I rolled myself over and tried to sit up, only to realize my arms didn’t move like they used to, rather they moved the opposite way like… I leaned myself against the side of the sofa and brought them up.
“Oh god…” I muttered, discovering my arms had become forelegs, each ending with a hoof the same slate-gray color of my fur coat. I looked down and noticed how different my body now looked; a curvy, fur-covered barrel and waist, with two teats on my undercarriage. My skirt barely fit anymore, and my legs… no, my hind legs bent backward like any quadruped’s would, my long, black tail flicked about from under my skirt. Nervously, I brought my hooves up to my face, feeling soft, plush cheeks, and a short muzzle that replaced my nose and mouth. I needed a mirror, fast!
Reaching my hind leg over the edge of the sofa to step down, the fact that I now walked on four legs had momentarily escaped me out of force of habit and as soon as I attempted to stand I swayed back and forth and fell flat on my face. My ears gave a slight twitch as I struggled to stand myself up again, wobbling on all fours. I’d most certainly lost a great deal of my original height and now stood about the size of a dog. I felt what remained of my underwear and hose underneath the skirt as I attempted to take a few steps. As much as I imagined I’d feel more comfortable if I took them off, I had my dignity, even like this. Looking back, I saw the lump I assumed to be the pony Vic had become laying there, sound asleep as ever with traces of electric-blue mane and tail hanging over the side of the couch. I suppose at the moment I didn’t need her awake…
Her… I’m not rightly sure if it was stranger to use a female pronoun on her in my mind, or that it seemed so normal to as though I always had. Either way, I had other priorities.
My first next few steps were wobbly at first, getting used to my new center of gravity and way my limbs bent. One wrong leg and I’d be on my side or on my face again. Looking down at my forehooves I closed my eyes a moment, and moved my right foreleg to take a step, followed by my left hind leg as I began moving my left foreleg, then my right hind leg. Somewhat like crawling on all fours, I suppose, yet different. It felt a little odd, not being able to feel the carpeting so much, I had to admit. Walking carefully, though still a little clumsily down the hallway, I made it to our bedroom and sought out my full-length in the corner of the room near the closet. Approaching, but not yet angled enough to see my reflection, I paused and took a deep breath. “You can do this,” I assured myself. “You’ve expected this, you can handle it. You’re a rational young woman, Octav—… Olivia Ravensdale. Be strong.”
Besides, one of us needed to be calm and I was quite certain it wasn’t going to be Vic. Drawing another breath, I stepped in front of the mirror.
All manner of self-reassurance immediately abandoned me in a most abrupt haste as I shuddered at my reflection. Looking back at me, with no doubt the same shocked expression I now wore, was a slate-colored mare. I was different from any equine found on Earth, in fact, it was as if someone had managed to translate the very appearance and features of the characters of that show into real life. Turning my head left and right I could see it had a more rounded shape, with a shorter, more dainty muzzle and significantly larger, almost bulbous eyes that were a deep purple with pronounced eyelashes; features that were more vaguely human then equine as though I were more some manner of creature evolved from a horse then simply a horse that could think like a human could. My ears instinctively drooped as I stepped away from the pony looking back at me, my raven-black tail that matched my long mane flicking out from under my skirt a few times from my anxiety. Were I less put off by what I saw, I may have found myself… cute. Maybe even… beautiful. My parents had horses and I knew signs of a healthy mare, and clearly I had them all. Some of my own qualities seemed to translate as well; my slender build and the style of my mane and the stance I found myself taking all carried a sort of refinement and elegance to it.
Curious, I did a slow spin, my skirt doing nothing but hinder me more that I finally decided to remove it for now. I quickly found that without hands this became far more taxing, as undoing the zipper was something fingers were needed for. After several failed attempts, I tried laying on my back and just pushing as hard as I could with both forehooves, and with my decrease in size and this soft fur coat I now had it slid off easier then I’d expected, along with everything underneath. Laying on the floor and balancing up on my forehooves I looked at the mirror again and got a good look at myself. Completing my new, equine shape was a pair of rounded flanks that each sported the purple treble clef pictures that had appeared there the night this had all started; my long tail swished along the carpet like a fan of silken threads, all the more reminding me that the pony was indeed me.
“L-Livvy?” I heard a female voice call from the hallway. It took me a moment to remember it to be Vic, or Vinyl as I suppose she was registering in my mind, now
“No… noooo, I hate beans!” I cried out in a slurred tone as I woke from a seriously messed up nightmare and rolled onto my side. Shaking my head I slowly opened my eyes and realized I was still lying on the couch. Sighing, I raised my hands to rub my eyes, only to find they were no longer there when a hard surface impacted with my face. Drawing them back, I saw two white, furry hooves attached to two equally white, furry… forelegs?!
“Holy shit… holy SHIT!” I muttered, backing myself away from the offending limbs despite them being very much attached to me and I only succeeded in tumbling over onto my back. Craning my head, I quickly realized my neck was longer now, giving me a much better look at myself, from my slender barrel to my hind legs that now hung upwards in the air, and that long blue tail that swished up as if to remind me of its presence. My face… I could make out the rounded muzzle that had taken up where my nose had been. With some hesitation I brought one hoof to it, pushing against it a little and confirming it to be real. “Th-this… all this…” I shifted a little and my cargos and shorts quickly slid off my smaller form, revealing a pair of teats that I’d paid enough attention to animal biology to know the purpose of.
Cringing, I felt a horrible chill run down my body at the mere thought of having a fully-functional equine womb capable of bearing foals, let alone the idea of being pregnant ever. The thoughts immediately drew my attention to between my hind legs, where a very unwelcome change had occurred yesterday. It then occurred to me that I was completely alone on the couch.
“Livvy?” I asked softly, looking around and fearing for the worst. Ending up in this body was freaking me out, but finding my girlfriend missing easily overrode that. That monster that had been on the TV, did he do something to her? “Oh, God! Livvy!” I cried out, climbing down from the couch and falling on my face, my back end up in the air and propped against the couch and my tail now hanging in my face. Snorting, I blew it back and tried to crawl forward, a difficult task without hands to grip at the floor with and slowly my hind legs met ground. “C’mon, Vinyl, you can do this,” I said, flinching when I realized what I’d called myself and facepalmed, or maybe it was facehoofed, now. “No, no, no. Your name is Vincent Spencer. Keep it together, dude!” I told myself, not about to let some girly pony body from a girls show change that.
I wobbled like I was having a seizure as I struggled to stand, not used to the way my legs bent, or the fact that I now had four legs. As embarrassing and awkward as this all felt, Olivia’s safety meant more to me then my dignity right now. I hoped she was okay, that she hadn’t left home. The thought of her having been found and captured by animal control or the cops from yesterday or creepy men-in-black types made a whole new wave of worry come over me, enough that I collapsed to my haunches, hanging my head low. If something happened to her…
My ear twitched when I heard a shudder down the hall, in the direction of our bedroom. My head perked up as did my hopes. Standing myself up, I tried to walk in the direction of the sound I’d heard, stumbling several times trying to figure out how I was supposed to walk with four legs. It wasn’t quite like crawling as that involved one’s hands and knees, so no frequent bending of the legs in the back was needed there, in this case, however, I had a whole new center of balance and getting used to the way these limbs moved.
“Great, some hero I’ll be…” I muttered dejectedly as I lay on the floor from the fourth fall, blowing my mane from my eyes. The mental image of me trying to act noble and heroic when I couldn’t even walk, let alone stand in a remotely competent manner would have made me laugh any other day but now it was just beyond embarrassing. Trying once more, I tried standing and pressing my forehooves on the nearest wall and walking sideways on my hind legs. I cringed at how uncomfortable and wrong this felt, and let myself drop back to all fours to try walking like a normal four-legged animal again. Reaching the door, I paused and called out to her.
“I’m in here, Vinyl— I-in here, Vic…” I stammered, not moving from my spot and not even looking away from the mirror as I heard her approaching, my ear twitching as I heard her cry out from stumbling a bit.
“Hey, Liv… whoa!” she announced, prompting me to turn my head and there, staring at me was a white mare with an electric blue mane and tail, and a horn sticking out of her forehead like a unicorn. “:W-wow… babe… is that you in there?” she asked nervously, approaching as she cocked her head.
“Yes, it is!” I protested, trying to hold back tears. “I could be asking the same of you,” I replied.
“H-how… how different do I look?” she asked. “How much did I change? Am I… am I like you?”
“Go take a look, gorgeous,” I said dryly, gesturing to the mirror and after a moment of hesitation, she complied, clumsily walking towards it so she could see herself.
She froze a moment when she saw herself, then very, very slowly began to step closer, a stunned, dumbfounded look on her face much like the one I’d had earlier. Bringing her forehoof to her face and touching her muzzle, her horn, and then sitting on her haunches and running both hooves through her wild mane and along the sides of her face.
“Vic, please calm down!” I cried out after the potentially thirtieth or so obscenity she screamed out seconds after.
“How can I? Look at me! How am I supposed to live like this?!” she demanded.
“You may have noticed I’m not any better off,” I replied, getting up clumsily and walking over beside her. “Look… we’re both in the same boat, aren’t we?” I asked, putting my forehoof on her shoulder and nuzzling her neck gently, which seemed to calm her slightly. “I-It’s important we keep calm about it… as difficult as that sounds. You think I’m not worried?” Vic had still made a point, however; how could we live like this? I doubt I’d be of much use at my job or in the orchestra in this body, and she wouldn’t be, either.
As I turned and looked at our reflections in the mirror, it became more and more evident that our lives were very much essentially over if this was permanent. Thoughts of being in a lab that I once would have considered beyond absurd felt more possible, or us wasting away in this home that now felt more and more like a large cage every passing moment from our condition flooded my mind, and any attempt at control in the situation fell apart before I could stop it. Before I knew it, I wrapped my forehooves around the mare that had been the person I’d loved for five years and let my emotions go.
“Why is this happening, Vin—…Vic? What did we do to deserve this?!” I demanded between sobs as I held her tight, crying into her soft chest. “We had something, didn’t we?” I asked, looking her in the eyes. “…a future… didn’t we?” Vic had a reason behind that birthday-anniversary celebration other then simply displaying approval we’d lived and lasted another year. I’d all but forgotten about it in the chaos that had interrupted it and remained with us ever since.
Vinyl didn’t answer, but instead slowly embraced me with her forehooves, resting her head against mine. Then, without warning, I suddenly felt myself falling. Instinctively I held onto her for support, and landed on top of her as she lay on her back. “What in the bloody blazes was that for?” I demanded.
“Made ya stop crying, didn’t I?” Vinyl asked as she gave me a smile, it was a playful tone and smirk but didn’t quite reach her eyes; a sadness and uncertainty was still there plain as day to me. She was worried about the same things I was, and there was nothing that could change that, I suppose. It didn’t stop her from at least trying what she’d done last night, an attempt to make me smile, to calm me, anything because…
I felt my eyes water again.
“Hm, guess I didn’t,” she muttered, sighing.
“You still tried,” I said, managing a small smile, as good a smile as I could through all the emotional weight I was feeling now.
To say seeing what I now looked like in all its pony glory was a shocking experience was an understatement. It really did look like some… realistic depiction of those simplistic designs they gave them in the show. Even those gigantic eyes of theirs that made me willing to think I was actually pretty adorable, or maybe I’d have taken that to heart if it didn’t creep me out so much.
Olivia wasn’t much better off. As I lay on my back, her atop me after I’d pulled her down in an attempt to break her panic, I could look into those eyes and still see her in there.
I was in no mood for laughs, I really wasn’t, but I couldn’t take her hurting like this and I wanted to do anything I could to put a stop to that, even if it meant ignoring my own discomfort at this… thing I’d turned into. Slowly, I brought my forehoof up to her soft cheek and wiped away a tear; she tilted her head a little, closing her eyes as she nuzzled my hoof.
The silence faded in my ears as my heart began to beat harder, a warmth came over me as I continued to look at her. Those soulful purple eyes, that full, silky black mane… that graceful build of a high-society mare… and I felt the same way I had the day I saw Olivia for the first time. It was odd, but I found her…
“Vinyl?” a voice asked.
“Vinyl?” it asked again, louder now.
“Vinyl!” it shouted, snapping me out of my thoughts and seeing the slate-colored pony staring at me with concern in her eyes.
“Wha-what?!” I asked, reality crashing back in. “Whoa, did I space out?” I asked, rubbing the side of my face with my hoof when I realized it now smarted a little.
“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry!” Olivia replied, “I think I underestimated how hard these are, you just… got all quiet and you didn’t answer me. Are you all right?”
“Y-yeah… wait, you called me that name again?” I asked, sitting myself up as she scooted back to give me more room.
“I did?” she immediately looked embarrassed. “It’s so maddening! I should know your name but this… it just… I know it sounds weird, but that name… whenever I think about you, that name “Vinyl Scratch” comes to mind first…”
“That doesn’t make sense, babe! You know my name’s Vinyl!” I insisted, suddenly bringing a hoof to my mouth when I realized I’d not helped my case at all and said the name as well. Horror and realization was starting to hit… the name, being attracted to a mare without even thinking about the woman I knew, even if they were the same person it’d felt so normal for me for a second.
Getting back up I made my way to the mirror again, my girlfriend right behind me. “I-is this us, now?” I asked. “Am I… becoming this Vinyl Scratch pony?”
“Octavia…” my girlfriend muttered.
“Huh?” I asked, confused.
“Octavia… Octavia Melody… why does it feel like it was always my name?” she asked. That name, Octavia, or that nickname Tavi, it just seemed to come and go but yet whenever it did come it felt like I always knew her as such.
“Because it is my little ponies!” a new, male voice announced from behind us, prompting the two of us to turn in alarm. There, seated comfortably in the air and laughing as he sneered down at us, was that horrible creature from our nightmares…
Immediately I leaped in front of Olivia, gritting my teeth and glaring daggers at the freakish, grinning creature in front of us. I’d only remembered glimpses of him till now, but getting a good look at him, I didn’t even know how to properly describe it other then that someone had just stuck the parts of random animals together and gave it life. Its snakelike body was thin and covered in feathers, its tail was long and winding, covered in red scales with a long white tuft of fur at the end. Each of its limbs belonged to a different animal, a lizard and a goat had donated one of their hind legs, a lion and an eagle had been good enough to sacrifice a paw and a claw to give it arms, its wings were a blue birdlike wing and a purple batlike wing. Its neck was long and covered in gray fur with a short black stripe along the back. Its head... like some kind of demonic thing that seemed a mix of a goat and a horse's head, with yellow eyes and the horn and an antler, with a large fang on the right side of his crooked grin.
“Stay back!” I demanded, and a bolt of blue magic fired from my horn again, right at the creature, the blast tearing a huge hole where his face was. Any relief that my girlfriend or I had was quickly diminished when his head reformed itself like it were made of liquid and he let out a cruel laugh.
“Oh, aren’t you just the most precious thing, Vinyl Scratch! Standing up for your marefriend just like before!”
“Just like before?” I asked, cocking my head as one eye narrowed and the other widened in confusion. My attention turned when I heard a shudder from behind me, and I saw Olivia’s shocked expression when I looked.
“Oooooooh! I think she’s getting it!” the creature said gleefully, biting his lower lip.
“The dreams… when this all started…” my girlfriend said.
“Indeed, doesn’t this scene seem a little familiar to you both?” the creature asked.
I remembered the brief dream I’d had when this happened, a female voice behind me, a female voice where I was that… sounded like the one I had now… the creature was there, too… “Oh my god…”
“Discord will suffice, but I appreciate the flattery,” the creature answered. “That’s right, fillies, it was no dream, but rather a lingering memory.”
“N-no… NO!” I stammered, backing away a little. I liked to think I was pretty open-minded about paranormal things, but there was no way what he was implying could be possible! “You… whatever the fuck you are… you did this to us! You turned us into these… pony-things! Turn us back!”
“You’re half-right, Vinyl, but denial kept you from getting the A+…” the creature, Discord answered. “True, I did do this to you, but not the way you little ponies think. The truth of the matter is, I already DID turn you back!” He put his paw and eagle claw together for a second and pulled them away from one-another, a large mirror stretching out between them as he did and showing us the reflections of the people we’d once been.
“You don’t want to admit it, but you know it’s the truth…” he explained, our former reflections fading and being replaced by the pony ones. “Happy twenty-fifth birthday you two!” he declared, tooting a horn in our faces that suddenly slithered around us, squeezing us together as it suddenly morphed into Discord’s serpentine body. “You little lovebirds getting together was no coincidence. Nor were your talents for your… diverse tastes in music,” he explained, unwinding around us and hovering in the air.
“How can you expect us to believe that?” I demanded. “It’s characters from a children’s show! Even I can admit to when something’s fictional!” Couldn’t say the same for some of it’s fanbase from what I’ve heard, though.
“I could tell you the truth behind that, but what fun would that be to take all the fun away?” Discord asked with a laugh. “The fact of the matter is, those pretty little equine forms are in fact the real you… you can’t believe your similarities to them as humans was simple coincidence. Or that it was these ponies you’re now seeing any time you face a mirror?
“You can’t mean…” my girlfriend began. I didn’t like what she was getting at. If we were to trust this thing, it meant…
“I’m certain it’s occurred to you, that was Vinyl in your dream, Octavia. Just as you know the voice from behind you in yours was Octavia, Vinyl,” Discord replied.
“My name’s NOT Vinyl! It’s…” I stammered, my mind blanking out for a moment. “M-my name’s… my name’s… Vinyl … n-no! I didn’t mean that, I meant… V-Vinyl…” it was hopeless, any time I tried to say what should have been my real name it felt so wrong, or not even there, and like I just said the other name on instinct.
“Search your feelings, you know it to be true,” Discord taunted in a very deep, reverberating voice.
“Shut up!” I shouted, and suddenly I felt Octavia… no, no, it was… her… my girlfriend’s hoof on my shoulder.
“You can’t be serious! We had lives! For the last twenty-five years! I’m the daughter of two rich socialites from England, I met Vin…” she paused. “We met in college!”
“As I said, you’ll get the whole story behind that all in good time, my dears. In the meantime, why not enjoy a little trip down memory lane, Discord-style!” he declared, snapping his eagle claw and suddenly all of reality spun around us.
I found myself in another room, though a larger one with walls that looked like someone had just dumped an entire shelf of different paints on them, and candy cane-looking columns. As I looked about, I could see chairs floating around us, and fish swimming about in the air. Looking down at myself, I saw familiar gray hooves and it was evident I was still a pony.
“You gotta get through me if you wanna go near her, Discord!” I turned and saw a white pony facing away from me, her electric-blue tail flicking as she pawed the ground and glared at the hideous creature before us.
“Vinyl, what are you doing?!” I could hear a voice behind me… Octavia? I turned, seeing her there on the floor, bruised up and looking frightened… she was… worried for me? A chill went down my back as I heard Discord laugh.
Vinyl fired a blast of magic at him, but the creature dodged it with ease. She growled angrily and focused on several speakers that hung on the wall, causing them to glow brightly and fire beams of some kind of energy at him, causing the creature to recoil back and cry out… before breaking into a fit of laughter and pulling out a bath brush, scrubbing himself as he allowed the beams to hit him.
“Ohhh yes, right there! That’s the spot! What do you know, music does have a soothing effect!” Discord taunted before snapping his eagle claw and the speakers grew wings, flying out the nearby window.
“No! I won’t let you beat us!” I heard myself cry out, but the fear in my tone betrayed my words and the sense of despair became more evident to me as I watched the trick I’d attempted prove completely futile and only serve to amuse the being confronting us. “You may have beat the Elements, but we’re not going down so easy!” I looked back at Octavia, she looked absolutely terrified, now. I had to help her… I couldn’t let him get her…
…not the mare I loved…
“How sweet, the classic case of opposites attracting, together to the end!” the creature sang, before giving a sideways retching gesture.
“It’s not the end!” Vinyl shouted, firing another blast in desperation, but Discord just waved his eagle claw, and the magic blast sputtered and spun away like a deflating balloon.
I wanted to help, but what could I do? I didn’t have magic… what good was I against this monster that seemed to just play with reality itself?
“Fun’s over! Time to join the others!” Discord gloated, Vinyl shuddered and backed away towards me, and embraced me tightly, positioning herself between me and him and squeezing her eyes shut.
It was no use… I couldn’t protect her… if I was no match for him neither was she… all I could do now… was be with her for what little time he was going to give us together…
Five Score Divided by Four…
As I felt her return my embrace, tears welled up in my eyes, an unbearable agony beginning to course through my body…
Your memories removed, your bodies confused…
A horrible pain began to crawl up my body as Vinyl held me, I could feel her shaking… sobbing as she held me tightly.
Nopony will remain, to escape this new game…
For your failures you must pay. Cast to a land far, far away…
“Vinyl… Vinyl I’m right here…” she said softly to me, I struggled to open my eyes, looking into hers. I didn’t want her to see me crying, to see how scared I was.
“Your minds now weak, your outlooks bleak…”
I wouldn’t let go, not a chance, the pain continued to spread across me, but I would not let go…
Forgetting everything and living like fools…
“Octavia, I’m so, so sorry!” Vinyl cried, trying to hold me but then some force violently tore us from one-another.
“NO!” I screamed out as she was pulled away, disintegrating away before my eyes as whiteness engulfed us.
And now Equestria obeys my rules!
Reality reappeared before me, and Vinyl and I were back in our bedroom, I stared agape, speechless as the serpentine creature hovered there, arms folded.
“Well, does that help the pieces fall into place a little more?” he asked, cocking his head and stroking his beard. “Oh, why the long faces, ponies?”
“What… could you possibly want with us?” I asked, shaking all over.
“Isn’t it clear to you both? That everything from a… children’s show…” he replied, using finger quotations on the last two words. “…was real after all, I mean it must have some impact, knowing your lives as you knew them were a lie!” Discord answered.
“You bastard… whatever you are…” Vinyl snapped, gritting her teeth and I could see light gathering around her horn again. “Change us back to who we were or I’ll—”
“You’ll do what? Fail miserably like last time? Don’t get cute with me, Vinyl… though I suppose it’s a little late for that,” Discord replied, pinching her cheek for good measure, causing her to jerk away angrily. “And even if you could do something to me, I can’t. The spell ran its course, and even then, suppose I could… why would I?” he asked with a laugh. “Especially with so much amusement at the expense of you and the others surviving this world!”
“Wait, others?” I asked.
“Whoopsie…” Discord muttered, grinning sheepishly. “But I suppose that’s not particularly important. You have this lovely, well-furnished prison to rot away in. Set one hoof outside, and you take quite a chance… but I’m certain you don’t need me to point that out, do you?” he mused, snapping his claw and vanishing in a bright flash of light.
I took a few breaths, trying to avoid panicking, trying to think logically again, anything to stay calm. Vinyl, however, was not so fortunate. I turned and saw she had already curled up on the floor, shaking and trying not to cry.
Slowly, I approached and put my forelegs around her, embracing her and resting my head over her shoulder.
“Th-this… all of this is real, isn’t it?” she asked softly.
“Even I can’t argue against it… I don’t think either one of us can,” I muttered.
“It all… those last twenty-five years… really does feel like a lie, now… like suddenly waking up from a dream you were happy in,” she opened her magenta eyes and looked at me. “I don’t want it to be. It can't be! I don’t want that to just mean nothing even if I’m stuck this way forever!”
“Vinyl…” I replied, looking downcast for a moment, the name seemed so natural, now, even though it must have bothered her to hear it. Our names were the first thing we were given, after all. “Despite what he said I don’t think who we were… and… what we had were meaningless…” I wasn’t even sure if I believed it either with all we’d just learned, honestly. All I knew now was how much I wanted to. There were still uncertainties in it, and a chaos god didn't seem the most believable source of information.
“If I really am this,” she said, gesturing down at herself. “If that My Little Pony show was part of something that actually happened… then what is the person I thought I was? Did Vincent Spencer just exist so Vinyl Scratch could come back? If that Discord guy didn’t do his five-score-whatevermore on her, would… I have even been born? Would either of us have ever been born if he didn’t do what he did to Vinyl and Octavia? Were we just… I dunno… just some box or crate to hold them in for twenty-five years?”
I wanted to say something. Anything to make her feel better, but I couldn’t. Nothing I could say would have felt honest at all because the same questions were going through my mind. If that was true, I’d feel like I was abandoning the twenty-five years I’d been alive, the twenty-five years I’ve struggled to get free of the miserable life under my parents’ direction. The last five years the two of us made a life together, I couldn’t just throw it away as meaningless and she clearly felt the same.
I took a moment, trying to think of the right words; I had a lot to think about, myself, after all. “I don’t think we’re going back,” it was harsh, but it was, I felt, what we both needed to hear and hopefully, help us accept sooner. I was not as good at rolling with the punches, as Vic always called it as my boyfriend had been. I needed a plan, a goal and steps for it. If I could work through this phase by seeing it for what it was, I could get out of it faster. “He told us what he knew was going to hurt,” I tried to keep from breaking down. “Whatever it is, if it's true, surely then Vinyl or Vic, Olivia or Octavia…” it was somehow easier to say those names if I distanced a little from them. “…we’re still us, inside.”
“Getting all philosophical on me, babe?” Vinyl asked, nuzzling me gently.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, we “uptight, high-class prudes” have to be if we don’t have money to lull our senses,”
She seemed to smile a little at that. “I guess it won’t hurt to find out what we can about all this to know for sure,”
“Indeed. It may give us some idea on what to do next, Discord made a point that if we leave this place we take a risk… but we’ll need to, eventually it’d be to our benefit if we had a reason to aside from bloody cabin fever,” I muttered.
Vinyl nodded and gave me a hug before turning to head back to the hallway. “Oh, and babe?” she asked.
“Yes, Vinyl?” I asked, cocking my head.
“Don’t tell anyone I actually cried back there,” she replied with a smirk.
Relieved to see her sense of humor back, I smiled and shook my head. Typical you… “Of course I won’t.”
If there was one thing that was more then crippling about this change other then losing hands, it had to be height. Being the height of a german shepherd ensured I was about eye-level with the refrigerator door, but most of the stuff that I’d intended to prepare for some kind of meal had suffered a terrible lack of foresight on my part.
“Let me get this straight, Vinyl… we turned into small horse creatures, and you thought to stock most of the food we bought yesterday somewhere that it’d be rather difficult to reach?” Tavi asked.
“Well, if you wanna grab a stool you’re welcome to help out. In the meantime, let me see if I can get this magic thing down!” I insisted, trying to focus on the pantry shelves and the food that sat just out of reach. Ten minutes had gone by and my girlfriend was now laying down on her side, tapping her forehoof on the linoleum floor as she stared at me and my unimpressive efforts at mastering telekinesis. In that tiny little segment of the show I’d flipped through three days ago, I’d seen this unicorn float a record. If she could move a record I’m sure a bag of flavored rice wasn’t going to be outside her limits!
My tail flicked from side to side and my ears fell back as I struggled more, a faint blue light glowing above my eyes where my horn was and slowly, the bag began to do the same, shaking in its place a little. “Come on, come on,” I muttered, licking the side of my muzzle as I glared at the rice bag. “Come to daddy. That’s right, and…” the bag finally tipped and fell right on my face.
“Well done, Vinyl,” Tavi remarked with a smile, getting up. “That just leaves…” her expression immediately fell. “…getting a pot and some water for it.”
Any sense of accomplishment had been swiftly deflated by that realization. The pot wouldn’t be difficult at all, we kept it on the bottom cabinets with the other pans and cookware. The water, however… simply put the sink was too high up without balancing on my hind legs, and on slippery linoleum I didn’t want to take any chances while still this inexperienced with telekinesis. Maybe I should have practiced on some of my action figures or something… it still didn’t help my situation. Where was I going to get water that I could reach with less trouble?
A grin spread on my face and I swear a lightbulb appeared over my head. “Wait! I have an idea!”
“Get the cooking pot and follow me!” I said, trotting down the hallway.
“I can NOT believe we’re doing this,” Tavi deadpanned as she held the bathtub spigot.
“Gah angy ugger igeas?” I asked, the pot handle in my mouth as I held it carefully under the faucet and waited for her to turn it on. With a push of her forehoof, the spigot turned, no doubt further then she’d intended and water came bursting from it, adding more weight then I was ready for and causing me to lose my balance and topple over, spilling the water all over my face and leaving me in the position to have the water pouring out straight onto my head.
“Livvy…” I muttered, managing to remember my girlfriend’s real name for once as I raised a hoof to try and brush my soaked mane out of my eyes. “One word about this to anyone and I swear…”
“You swear plenty already. I’m rather impressed you kept it in this time,” she replied, prompting an eyeroll from me. God I must have looked so stupid right now, a small white pony sprawled out in the bathtub, my head under the faucet and my face in a side-turned pot. After a few failed attempts to stand back up, I managed to finally regain my balance and slowly get up while Tavi shut off the water. Instinctively I shook my body like a wet dog, sending water everywhere and grimacing when my girlfriend looked like she could barely hold her laughter in.
“Your mane… you look…” she held her hooves over her mouth but looked ready to lose it. Frowning I reached out of the tub and wrapped my forehooves around her, pulling her in with me as she let out a shriek of alarm and landed on top of me.
“Now you share my misery, babe!” I gloated.
A moment of silence passed between us, I stared at her, she looked off to the side, as if unsure how to respond or what to do. I noticed her ears twitch a little, her tail flicked to the side once and she climbed back out without a word. It was hard to tell with the fur coat but I swear she was blushing.
“W-we should probably think of something else to make for lunch. This turned out a great deal more… complicated then I’d imagined,” she said, heading for the door back out to the hall. Shaking off one more time, I looked at the pot, focusing as best I could to float it with my magic as I really didn’t want to resort to using my teeth for picking up anything. After a few tries, it finally, if a little slowly, did as I wanted, prompting a grin of satisfaction from me. I knew I could figure this out!
…One of a lot of things, though. Things I’d have to ask Tavi about… and ask myself about as well.
Floating the pot in front of me so I could keep an eye on it, I carefully climbed out of the tub and walked out into the hall, keeping my full attention on the hovering piece of cookware as I made my way into the kitchen once more. Maybe cooking was a little past what I could handle right now, but we had plenty of fruit and stuff we could eat instead.
Tavi was sitting in the kitchen, staring at the refrigerator. As I entered she looked back at me, still with that nervous look on her face. “Hey, check it out, babe. Mind over matter!” I said with a smile.
“Well done,” she replied, smiling back as I floated the pot over to the counter.
“So… uh… about earlier… and back there… something you wanna tell me about?” I asked, approaching, and she looked down at the floor.
“Vinyl… I-I mean… Vic… I mean…” she shook her head in frustration. “It’s… it’s how I see you. I do love you, I really do, but I’m suddenly wondering if it’s because I see you for you, or if I’m sexually attracted to a mare named Vinyl Scratch because this version of me was involved with her in a past life!”
“’Scuse me?” I asked, cocking my head.
“There’s clearly a part of us that’s changing in here, there’s no mistake about that,” she explained, gesturing to her head. “I’d said the human part of us is still there, but how much by the end of this?”
“Sooooo… are you bothered because you might be a lesbian now?” I asked, more confused.
Five seconds of an exasperated stare later, she spoke up again. “No, nothing like that. I’m not that old-fashioned. It’s that it’s like another part of me just changed with it. Before this I was a heterosexual woman, now I’m… well…” she exhaled deeply. “Maybe I just need time to come to terms with that. It’s not as big a deal to you because you’re used to… well… getting with other women, I’m not. This is still new to me no matter how you look at it.”
I lowered my head, feeling like I was two inches tall. Going through a sex change when I became a mare was pretty weird, to say the least, but still being attracted to the same gender I was into before probably felt like she’d gone through a bigger change mentally. I may have experienced the bigger physical change, but she was left wondering how different she was in the head, now. “Hey, want some time alone? I could use some, myself,” I said softly, using my magic to open the refrigerator and tugged open the produce drawer with my hoof, floating an apple out for her. Holding it in her hoof, she gave me a sad smile, then nodded.
“I suppose we both do, we have a lot to think about, don’t we?” she asked as I floated a second apple out for myself. Nodding, I headed off to the bedroom, thinking about the day we’d met as I passed a photo of us on the wall, my arms around her as we grinned at the camera.
“Dammit, I can feel the hairs standing on the back of my neck!” I protested, rubbing my neck with my hand and confirming it to be true.
“Dude, you’ll be fine. Just be yourself, be honest, and I’m telling you, this girl will give you a chance,” Cale explained with an assuring smile before frowning slightly. “Now, let’s review, what do you not do?” he asked.
“Don’t try to impress her. Just act like me,” I answered with an eyeroll.
“Exactly. The biggest mistake a guy can do is try to show all his cards soon as it starts or he’ll be boring minutes later. Do it piece by piece, and make sure you let her do plenty of talking. Listen to everything she says, and answer her honestly. She wants to know who you are, and let her find out at her own pace.” he looked me up and down. “And I’m not gonna lie, you’re probably not the type she’s used to seeing. Or at least taking seriously.”
“Thanks for the confidence boost,” I replied, feeling more then a little embarrassed. I was always cooler then this, more in control and able to adapt. How in the hell could this one girl make me into a clumsy dork? I don’t know, there was something about her, that grace in her walk, that elegance in her voice and mystery to her. Not to mention while classical music normally bored me to tears, the time I went to the college orchestra concert and it got to her solo I was entranced and needed to know more about her. Luckily my friend was willing to make it happen, the guy just had a way with helping people hook up.
To ensure we’d meet in a neutral place where food and drinks were easily available for me to buy for her, he’d gotten her friends to ‘invite’ her to come to the place I worked at. It was my night off so I could be away from the deejay table the whole night and focus on her.
“Alright, she’s here. Now just remember the stuff I got you ready for, keep your game on, and make it happen!” Cale said, shoving me forward in the direction of the table Olivia was seated at. With her perfectly straightened, honey-blonde hair and her orchestra clothes still on, she stood out a good deal in a place like this, and her friends seemed to be on the lookout to, as my friend had apparently earlier arranged, ward off potential competition. Okay, Vic. It’s now or never… I told myself, and I approached.
“Okay, I know this sounds way cliché but what’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?” I asked. Wow, could you have made a suckier icebreaker, pal? I asked myself mentally, wanting to slap myself already. Seriously, with other girls I’d been with I was never that pathetic. Olivia didn’t get up or start laughing, instead she simply turned and regarded me in confusion, probably wondering what the hell I was thinking using such a line. “Sorry, just… you don't exactly look like someone I'd see drop in on this place, let alone a fan of its music!” I said quickly, trying to save face.
“Yes, yes it is odd to find one such as myself here, perhaps,” she responded, wincing a little from the sudden change of track to intense metal dubstep. At least it wasn’t me she was bothered by, which prompted a smile from me. “My friends were… most insistent I be here,” she explained. Even with the music, I could hear her speak. She was British, or at least came from a family that was, her accent was as classy as she looked and I felt for a moment like I may have been a little out of my league.
“Wow… pretty and cultured. I love the accent, by the way,” I said, being as genuine as I could make clear to her so she'd know I wasn't making fun of her. Honestly, it was as beautiful as she was.
"My British dialect goes back several generations, I'll have you know;” she replied matter-of-factly, though at least she seemed amused by me, so I guess so far so good even though I felt like this could have gone better. “…so it never seemed that big of a matter to me. And you are…?” she asked.
“Oh, right! Name’s Vincent Spencer. Call me Vic though,” I said. “So, I gave my name, can you tell me yours?"
"Olivia," she answered. "Olivia Ravensdale."
Olivia Ravensdale. Beautiful name for a beautiful girl. Yup, definitely came from a rich family, the last name at least suggested it, though I’d not heard of any family by that name. "So..." I began, deciding to try and continue the conversation. "What do you think? This music’s pretty happening, huh?”
“It’s absolutely, positively ghastly,” she said in disgust. "It just sounds like random noises done to random beats I don't see how anyone can dance to it." Wow, definitely not a fan of the stuff playing, hopefully I could still save this attempt, though.
“I guess I can’t always get upvotes, can I?” I asked with a laugh, rubbing my chin thoughtfully and smirking. “I actually mixed the track they’re playing here! Normally I’m deejaying, but it’s my night off,” I explained.
“Mixed? Deejaying?” she asked.
“I’ll get you a drink, your choice, and I’ll tell you about it, but you gotta tell me about yourself, too,” I answered, getting a shocked look from her face before she looked past me over where I assumed Cale had seated himself. A moment later, she picked a sweet margarita as though everything here were beneath her tastes but she was willing to settle regardless. I meanwhile ordered one of my personal favorites, hoping she wasn’t a lightweight.
“So, ladies first,” I said.
Olivia sighed a little. “Very well, I suppose with a name like mine you fancy I’m some rich upper-class girl, am I right?” she asked.
I shrugged in response. “If you are, I can’t say I’ve heard the name before.”
“Honestly? My family is one of old money, if you’re at all familiar with the term,” she answered.
“Oh, like those rich jackasses that spam instagram with all this crap they buy to piss off the middle-class types?” I asked, before wishing I hadn’t and worrying I may have insulted her. Amazingly, she laughed.
“Yes, that is about right. That’s exactly the kind of people my parents are,” she answered. “Unfortunately, there are some things money can’t give… like their willingness to accept me as a person and not some… some bargaining chip to hand off when I was old enough.”
“Fuck, and I thought I had problems,” I muttered as our drinks arrived.
“Well, you’re certainly not one to hold back on language are you?” she asked.
“New Jersey, babe,” I answered, spreading my arms and grinning. “Not like Jersey Shore level, though. Just kinda grew up in the semi-urban area is all. Seriously, every one of those freaks is on my hit list,” I added quickly, causing her to smirk and roll her eyes, tasting her drink.
“Smashing. I’ll look forward to when you go through with it,” she said. “So, what brought a girl like me to the attention of someone like you? If you’re expecting money I regret to inform you that my parents and I haven’t been on speaking terms ever since I decided I wanted to have my own life.”
“No, no, nothing like that!” I insisted. And really, her parents didn’t sound like the kind of people I would want to spend even a microsecond around, no matter how wealthy they might have been; if anything that part would have made me even more uncomfortable around them with my meager list of achievements. “I had to work since I was old enough and I’m pretty proud that I actually earned what I got for having a talent for music mixing. One day, I’m gonna be freelance and make the real cash all on my own!” I explained, though I suppose our different views on the music I made could have had a different interpretation to her. “I… sorta lost a bet with my friend so I had to… well…” I looked down, and I could feel the heat on my face as I blushed. “…see one of the orchestra concerts.”
“Oh, and was it as terrible as you imagined?” she asked, frowning a bit.
“No! Well, okay mostly, but when it got to your solo just… damn I never thought I’d go for the classical stuff but you were just… perfect at it! As cliché as it sounds it felt like the rest of the world just disappeared and there was just me sitting there and you on the stage. I couldn’t get you out of my head and then my friend asked if I’d like to meet you, said he could make it happen,” I explained.
“I see… and believe it or not, I know how that all feels, working for what you have,” Olivia replied, nearly causing a spit-take from me.
“Whoa, you? But you said…” I began.
“My parents are rich. Not me. Not since, like I said, I wanted a life of my own. I only had their money if they had my life to make as they saw fit,” she explained. “I decided I wanted to learn and make classical music. They thought it beneath me, said if I wanted anything that’d get me down that path, I’d have to earn it myself. Of course, it was to dissuade me. They thought the idea of not being provided for by them would make me change my mind. It didn’t. They didn’t fancy the idea of a daughter who could prove them wrong and go the way she wanted in life with or without their help so you can imagine that only drove us apart all the more. After I could afford it, I took to the cello, and… I don’t know, it just seemed the perfect fit for me and I wasn’t wrong.”
I stared a moment, unsure what to make of it. We may have come from seriously different walks in life, but we had a common ground, there. We worked for what we had, and even if our music was just as different as those lives we came out of, music was music either way… even if I still felt classical music mostly put me to sleep.
Taking a sip of my drink, I smiled at her, and she made my heart race when she smiled back.
Opening my eyes, I stared at my reflection in the mirror, the white unicorn mare staring back at me with sad, magenta eyes. When I got upset, Livvy always tried to be rational and calm. When she got upset, I’d find ways to make her smile and try to go with the flow. But now, this… I turned and flicked my tail, getting a better look at my new goods then I’d meant to and prompting me to look away quickly in embarrassment and hastily sit my back end down. God, that's really gonna take some more getting used to. That day we’d met, a spark had started between us. Real dates followed, eventually we moved in together after graduation. Then came… this.
Even if this did happen to others why’d it have to happen to us?! Maybe it really was because we were lovers in another life that it all worked, but I liked to think there was more to it then that. I really hoped there was. For now, maybe the best way to know the answer to that was to see what happened, give her the time she needed to come to terms with herself now, as I was about what I’d learned about me. About this pony staring back at me in the mirror.
“Hm…” I cocked my head, then turned my body sideways, posing with one hoof raised and my head titled down a little so my mane fell around the sides of my face, some fringe going over one eye. I couldn’t help but smile a little; at least I was a pretty good-looking mare. Heck, maybe I was a bombshell by whatever-the-hell standards these pony-things went by. Octavia, though… I blushed just thinking about her.
Whoa… here I was thinking of her as another mare, too. A mare I was attracted to…
Just be yourself, be honest, and I’m telling you, this girl will give you a chance.
“Well, babe, what’re you gonna do to make your girl hot for you?” I asked my reflection, rubbing my chin with my forehoof.
“Having fun, Vinyl?” Octavia’s voice asked from the door frame, scaring the living hell out of me and causing me to fall over. Stifling a laugh, she walked in.
“Whoa, sorry! Totally thinking aloud there,” I said frantically. “I was just… thinking about stuff and all. Y’know, guy stuff.”
“Of course you were,” she said, putting her hoof on my shoulder and noticing the apple sitting on the floor. “Oh, you haven’t eaten yet?”
“Like I said. Thinking about stuff and all,” I said sheepishly, giving a shrug.
“Ever the odd one,” she said. “Look… I did some thinking as well…”
“I’m… still not ready, yet. To be how we were, but…” she said, looking away a moment. “I think in time, if you don’t rush me, I think I will be. We saw it was more then coincidence we met in the first place,” she explained. “We saw that there was a past between us that’s older then we thought. It’s not something anypony, not you, not me, not even that vile chaos god... can just take away.”
“…did you just say “anypony”?” I asked, baffled. Immediately she bopped me on the head with her hoof.
“I make a speech about us and some bloody Freudian slip is the first thing you notice?” she demanded indignantly. “Honestly, Vinyl, you’re always—” she paused, a look of surprise on her face.
“Always what, babe?” I asked, rubbing my head.
She sighed, and looked away for a second. “L-let’s just go get lunch ready, and as silly as it sounds I have a sudden urge to watch that show this all came from, hopefully Netflix still has it...”
“Sure thing!” I replied, feeling better and trotting alongside her as we went back into the hall. “So… uh…” I began, prompting her to look over at me. “…think I’d still look good in shades?” I asked with a grin.
And just like that, I got another bop on the head.
As I watched Vinyl retreat to the bedroom I made my way back to the den and climbed up on the sofa, rolling over on my back and staring up at the ceiling as I took a bite from my apple. This was all so confusing… finding out we had past lives as these talking sentient ponies and that our relationship predated the one we were in only being a few of the things spinning in my thoughts.
When Vinyl yanked me into the bathtub, my heart skipped a beat, it felt just like when that spark in the club so long ago had gone off between us. What did that mean about me? Was in love with her because I was in love with the same person I’d been in love with for five years? Part of me wanted to think so, but part of me also saw Vinyl Scratch as… attractive. Looks were in no way a basis for a relationship but it was unnerving to me that I found the ones that she sported, those of a slender white mare with an unkempt blue mane and tail as appealing. My feelings hadn’t changed in the least, but this was just… something I wasn’t used to.
There was also the matter of who I’d been with and what it meant… had Vic Spencer been the one I’d fallen in love with because of having once been someone a version of me from a past life had been with as well? I wasn’t sure. If the answer was yes, what did that say about my own identity? How different was Octavia Melody from Olivia Ravensdale? How different could I end up being without realizing it? I could remember much of my last twenty-five years of life within the limits of what the average person could, so surely some part of me would notice when something felt… different, right?
I raised my forehoof up, staring and turning it left and right. I didn’t have hands anymore; and it occurred to me that I’d probably have to resort to dipping my face into bowls and plates if I ever wanted to eat meals again for the most part.
A frown that I suspect could compare to that silly Grumpy Cat meme that Vic had found so bloody hilarious during its more popular days spread across my face when it then occurred to me that as a unicorn, Vinyl could still manipulate silverware with that telekinesis she demonstrated earlier and I couldn’t. Given which one of us had a more proper upbringing it suddenly felt that much more unfair to me the matter of which one of us got the magic horn. Groaning in exasperation I craned my neck and looked down at myself. I was once a lady of refined taste and etiquette, even after I’d abandoned the life of privilege and pre-planned experiences, now I was practically an animal with no choice but to conform to some beastly behavior to survive. These hooves weren’t exactly made for opening doors, typing on keyboards, or eating in a remotely civilized manner.
Or… thoughts drifted to my cello, which lay in its case in the room I practiced in. I’d seen pictures of this pony, she was shown playing the instrument and holding the bow with no apparent difficulty. Did ponies native to the world the show had been set in have some manner of limited grasping with these forehooves? It may not hurt to find out; being able to play would give me a small fraction of comfort, but I felt I needed all I could get before I’d feel ready to talk to Vinyl again. It was just as well, I imagined, as she had her own concerns she wanted to be alone for as well.
As I finished my apple it quickly occurred to me I’d consumed the entire thing, which took me by surprise. Horses did eat entire apples, so perhaps I should get used to it, and it fortunately saved me anything to worry about throwing in the trash. Rolling to my side I climbed down from the sofa and walked to the room where my cello lay, staring at the case as it stood propped against the corner and realizing I’d have to get it open without hands. I paced in front of where it was a few times, staring at the latches and nudging one forehoof under one latch while pressing against the case with my other to push it open, doing the same with the second latch and opening the case with my muzzle. My cello and bow lay in their respective places as I’d left them from two days ago when my hair and eyes had begun changing at orchestra practice. Could I still play them? I intended to find out.
With utmost care as I could manage I removed the cello from its case, the bow immediately after. How did she do it in those pictures? I wondered. Placing my forehoof over it, I tried bending it a little, and to my surprise I was able to get something resembling a grip on it, though it sort of felt like trying to wedge something under my wrist. Still, my hoof seemed to adjust to holding it more comfortably. “Well, one part done.” I mused. I wrapped my foreleg around my cello and attempted to balance on my hind legs, leaning against it for support.
It was odd, but something felt natural about this stance when for all intents and purposes most four-legged creatures would no doubt feel most uncomfortable. Looking down at myself I adjusted my stance a little, spreading my hind legs apart to offer myself more balance as I held my cello and bow, thinking of a song to play.
Closing my eyes, I rested my other hoof over the strings along the neck and began to play Toccata in D Minor. I was a little clumsy at first, but then, it seemed just as easy for me as it had been when I was human as I slipped comfortably into the moment.
My hoof moved and turned along the strings for the proper pitches, the sheets scrolling in my mind as I played the chilling melody that had lost its classic feel to many when it became more known for its use in cliché villain themes. Bach, Beethovan, Mozart, I had admired their music and sought to do them justice whenever a chance to play it came. Vinyl may not have shared my taste for it, but I seemed to have a way of still holding her attention when I played them…
As I kept playing, I tried to imagine what this past life I’d had that Discord had described and shown us in that frightening memory had been like before it’d ended. How renowned was I then? The profiles on the internet had suggested I performed for royalty, which had a flattering feel to it though I could not remember it. If only mum and dad had known…
The thought of them made me lose concentration and hit a bad note, causing my ears to twitch and I stopped playing immediately.
My parents… I remembered when they decided to visit me in my senior year of college to “evaluate” me, or in other words, try to make me return home. Not only did I refuse, but they also found out I was seeing someone. Someone who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in measuring up to their tastes.
“Is this to get back at us, Olivia?” my mother demanded, horror in her eyes when she saw Vic for the first time. They’d come rather unexpectedly after Vic and I had just returned to my campus flat room after a date. “You fraternizing with low-class trash like this slob that are far beneath anyone with your family name has any business knowing!" Of course I knew that for them those terms applied to anyone who didn't have the kind of wealth and privilege they had. Even some of their servants weren't immune to it.
“ExCUSE ME?!” Vic demanded indignantly, but I raised my hand in a silent gesture for him not to go any further. In response he folded his arms in disgust and sat down.
“You’d think that with your blinkered view on everyone not a part of high-class society, wouldn’t you?” I protested, already feeling my face getting red with anger. “You think you’re so proper and refined yet you feel comfortable insulting my boyfriend so passionately?”
“Mind your tongue, young lady,” my father snapped in that tranquilly furious tone that I knew to be the surest sign he was reaching his limit of patience with me. Once again, Vic got ready to stand up and give my parents an earful and once again I had to gesture him to not get involved.
“We’ve humored you long enough, Olivia. It’s time to end this silly game and come back home,” my mother insisted.
“There is no game, mother,” I replied firmly. “It’s my life. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished, I’m graduating soon, and I’m happy with who I’m with.”
“Of course, a starving artist with dreams of making that atrocious noise that only his type can mistake for music! A capitol choice by comparison to marrying into a proper family whose fortune and privileges would ensure you were taken care of your entire life. You really have proven yourself an educated young woman,” my father answered.
“Okay, that does it,” Vic snapped. I gestured for him to stop but he ignored me, getting off the sofa and going right up to my parents.
“Vic, stop it,” I warned. I didn’t need him getting even more on my parents’ bad side then he already was.
“No, babe. They can insult me, but I’m not gonna tolerate them treating you like this anymore no matter how much you think I should,” he answered, his tone livid as he turned his attention back on my parents. “And you two, seriously! Who the hell do you think you are?! She’s a grown woman now, she’s gonna graduate college with a Master’s and have you listened to her music? Usually classical puts me to sleep but she’s got all my attention when she plays. She’s a smart, talented woman and you oughta appreciate that!”
“Do you really think you have any right to speak to us about such matters?” my father asked sharply. “Our family has enjoyed the comforts and luxuries of success beyond what you could imagine for generations, take a moment to consider how small you really are,”
Vic didn’t budge. “What could you do to me? Bore me to death with your richer-then-thou speeches? I can still call the cops on you for trespassing and harassment. Unlike you, I know what hard work actually is, and so does she.”
For a moment, my father said nothing, running his hand through his hair but then a small smile came to his face. “You’re a very bold boy, talking to me that way. I admit I’m rather impressed,” he said calmly and I grew worried, wondering what he was going to threaten him with.
Instead, however, he reached into his coat pocket and took out his checkbook. “For that, I’m willing to make you this offer, one time…” he took out a pen and began writing on it and tore it off, showing a number with plenty of zeroes on it. “I’m certain this is more money then you’d ever seen in your life. It’s an easily replaceable amount to me so you can trust in my sincerity,” he explained, a firm look on his face. “You break all ties with my daughter, here and now. Renounce this travesty and its yours. Get yourself a nicer place then you could probably afford now, I’ll have my brokers refer you to suitable investments, and not have to worry about money again.
Silently, Vic took the check, staring at it, then back at me. I wouldn’t blame him for accepting. My father was ruthless but he kept his word with his offers, as he’d no doubt want Vic to spend the rest of his life believing he’d made the right choice.
Vic looked back at my father, and tore it into confetti. “You could give me twice this amount, and it’d still be no deal. If you really think you can put a price on Olivia, and think she’s worth one you considered chump change no less, then you have no right to call yourself her father...” He turned his hand and let the confetti fall to the floor at my father’s feet. “The door’s right there.”
My father said nothing, just shaking his head disdainfully as he put his hat back on and walked out the door. My mother stared at Vic, then me, in disappointment and followed after, their dignity being all they had left and choosing to keep it over trying any more to claim ownership over me.
As soon as he’s sure they were gone, Vic let out a big sigh of relief. “Wow, babe… totally didn’t expect tha—”
He never finished his words. I was far too busy kissing him to afford him the chance.
My heart raced as those memories finished playing in my mind. Any doubt I ever had for Vic had been completely erased that day. And now… with what had happened to us…
No. I wouldn’t let my discomfort get in the way. It’d take some time before I was completely at ease with myself and the changes I’d gone through these past few days, but I intended to be. Vic. Vinyl. It was the same person I’d fallen in love with who had turned down... no, flat out rejected a huge sum of money for me, who saw me worth more then any price even my parents could offer. And while Discord had shown us a memory from a time in the past to convince us that the lives we’d known were a lie, it had given me proof that what we had couldn’t just be thrown away or avoided.
Looking at my cello again, I could still feel some anxiety of what the future may hold in store for us. Our lives had been changed, we couldn’t hope to fit in with society now, let alone go out in public without people going mad at the sight of us. I’d rather reproach Vinyl in a more calm state. Closing my eyes once more, I continued to play.
When I finally finished, I carefully placed my bow down and returned my cello to its case; and once more it proved a more difficult task as an equine then it had been as a human. I could only imagine the routine difficulty the Octavia of the past had to endure each time she got ready, even if she no doubt had more practice with it then I did.
“Why couldn’t I have been a unicorn…” I muttered, rolling my eyes as I nearly dropped it while trying to place it back in its case. I suppose I could ask Vinyl… no that’d be too demeaning. I just needed to practice is all. Once it was safely in, I returned the bow to its sheath on the other side of the case and closed it, flipping the latches shut with my hoof. Feeling some accomplishment I couldn’t help but smile a little as I left and headed towards the bedroom where I knew Vinyl would be.
Was she posing?! I wondered to myself when I saw her in front of the mirror, turning her head and taking a stance with her forehoof raised. As rough and wild as her appearance was, she still had her own unique beauty to her that I could appreciate.
“Having fun, Vinyl?” I asked, stifling a laugh when she shuddered and fell over in surprise.
“Whoa, sorry! Totally thinking aloud there,” she replied hastily, getting an eyeroll out of me. “I was just… thinking about stuff and all. Y’know, guy stuff.”
Typical you… I thought, seeing the old Vic in her with the frantic efforts to hide her embarrassment.
“Of course you were,” I said, approaching and putting my hoof on her shoulder and she seemed to calm down.
It was then I noticed she’d not touched her apple. “Oh, you haven’t eaten yet?” I asked.
“Like I said. Thinking about stuff and all,” she replied with a shrug.
“Ever the odd one,” I answered. “Look… I did some thinking as well…”
“And?” she asked, cocking her head at me.
“I’m… still not ready, yet. To be how we were, but…” I explained, looking away a moment as I tried to find the right words and to assure her of my sincerity. “I think in time, if you don’t rush me, I think I will be. We saw it was more then coincidence we met in the first place. We saw that there was a past between us that’s older then we thought. It’s not something anypony, not you, not me, not even that vile chaos god... can just take away.”
I expected Vinyl to say something, whether to agree or disagree with me, I hoped for her patience, I wanted to make things keep working between us, no matter what. I loved her enough to do whatever it’d take to make that happen. What she did say, however, I was far less prepared for.
“…did you just say “anypony”?”
My mouth hung open for a moment. As alarming as it probably should have been that I’d use such a ridiculous word exasperation at such a ridiculous question was enough to prompt me to bop her on the head with my hoof. “I make a speech about us and some bloody Freudian slip is the first thing you notice?” I protested. “Honestly, Vinyl, you’re always—” I paused again, surprised once more. The words I’d said felt so natural, so trained, like I’d said them for much longer then I remember saying them in my life. I really needed to get to the bottom of all this, to know exactly what we were up against and what kind of world and life we had prior to all of this.
“Always what, babe?” Vinyl asked as she rubbed the side of her head and snapping me from my thoughts.
I sighed, and looked away once more to hide my embarrassment. “L-let’s just go get lunch ready; and as silly as it sounds I have a sudden urge to watch that show this all came from, hopefully Netflix still has it...”
“Sure thing!” Vinyl replied, a more chipper tone in her voice as she began trotting alongside me as we headed back into the hall. “So… uh…”she began nervously, causing me to turn and wonder what could have been on her mind. “…think I’d still look good in shades?” she asked with a stupid grin.
Honestly, Vinyl? I asked inwardly with a roll of my eyes and a swat of my forehoof to her head again.
Several hours later Tavi and I had gotten through to the end of the third season, as well as the movie that had followed. I suppose I can see why the show had its appeal and went a couple decades past its intended audience, but it wasn’t really my thing.
Of course, that could have just been because both of us knew behind this sugar bowl show something seriously fucked up had happened with the villain who I noticed was voiced by Q from Star Trek. If he’d reformed, what happened that made all this happen? Hell, how could a TV show be real?
That, and another pressing issue…
"Not one scene dedicated to us? Not one speaking role?!" Tavi asked indignantly as she finished an apple slice. “Three seasons and a movie in and not a word from either of our representations on here?”
"Tavi, cool down, babe…" I said, patting her shoulder with my forehoof.
“You… or human girl-you in the movie had plenty of screentime and she didn’t say anything either!” she continued. The movie was certainly a departure in setting from the series, but otherwise didn’t seem any better or worse then the show.
“Uhhh…” I attempted, but was at a loss of words.
“All the version of me in the cartoon does is stand in the background playing cello,” she protested. "We’re not going to learn anything about ourselves this way, Vinyl!"
“Babe, what’re you getting at?” I asked, cocking my head in confusion as I looked over at her.
"How does anyone know how to characterize us?" she demanded.
Okay, good point. It was a little odd from what I saw on the wiki could come from two characters that seemed to just be eye candy for the background. I had a scene here or there, but nothing that really stood out aside from being there for fans to spot in a crowd. For the most part all Tavi was seen doing was being part of an orchestra. "Babe..." I began.
"I am angry, Vinyl!" Tavi said, gritting her teeth.
"Ok but wait, wait just hear me out,” I explained, raising my hooves up defensively. "What if... we're not turning into ponies from the show?"
Octavia gave me the deadpan stare I always got when I said something stupid. "Have you looked in the mirror lately?" she asked in an equally deadpan tone.
"No, no, that explains why the ponies we turned into are so similar to us. All that Discord dick had to go by was a... a name, and what, a trading card? That's the only thing that really changed, is our names!" I explained.
"So what you are saying is that, aside from the name Octavia Melody is not like me because I was destined to be her, but..." Tavi began, narrowing one eye and raising her eyebrow as she waited for me to finish.
"Because she was based on you all along!" I finished with a grin, reclining against the armrest.
A moment of silence followed before Octavia spoke again. “Vinyl… that makes absolutely no bleeding sense…” she said. “This show existed since 2010. We were born in 1995. Fifteen years apart. I don’t seem to recall any random encounters with the show’s creator where I’d give her my life story,” she explained. “Look, if there’s one thing that links all of this it’s that people who claimed to have it happening to them that we are to assume aren’t daft fans going through a disturbing level of wish fulfillment were all turning twenty-five when it started…” she looked back at the tv, where Season 4’s premiere waited to be switched on. “I don’t think we’re going to learn anything else from the show; it’s quite evident neither of the ponies we turned into are particularly important. We may have to look online for answers.”
“Fine, fine. I guess that is kinda out-there,” I replied, sighing a little. “I mean, when I saw the stuff about us—I mean, Vinyl and Octavia on the card profiles, it seemed a little close to home…” I explained. “I mean, it said Octavia was a cellist from high society, that Vinyl was a deejay who loved techno and modern music, and suggested they were close.”
“It called them friends, Vinyl,” Octavia replied with an eyeroll. “I think we’ve progressed slightly further then that.”
“Well, there’s only so much one can get away with in a show aimed for young girls,” I said, hopping down from the couch and nudging the on switch to our desktop with my hoof. With a little struggle, I managed to get onto the chair, moving to the side so Tavi could try and fit with me, but it proved a mistake that resulted in me falling on my face. “Not a word…” I muttered, blowing my mane out of my face and receiving the inevitable giggles from my girlfriend.
A few tries later and she sat in my lap, my forelegs around her as I leaned against the backrest. In a way, the decrease in size had its advantages; this being one of them. Even Tavi seemed not to mind so much as she attempted to move the mouse with her forehoof. It took a few attempts but I managed to float a pen over the keyboard to type in the names so we could do the search and soon we were on the page for Vinyl Scratch, or as she was apparently also called, “DJ PON-3”. What kind of ridiculous name is that, anyway? Yeah I was over-the-top when I was deejaying for clubs but I never really considered myself big enough for a stage name. Then again, I’m sure if I called myself something like “V-1 Cee” Livvy would have probably gone to desperate lengths to get me to change it.
“It figures,” Octavia said. “So it looks like you had an entire scene dedicated to the Equestria Girls version of you to promote the second movie, but you…” her ears drooped. “…still remain stoic as ever.”
“C’mon, Tavi! There’s gotta be something out there that expands on us a little! I mean, like I said, there’s only so much a kid’s show’s gonna get away with even in a more progressive time like this!” I said. “Maybe the fans picked up on something?”
“I’m not sure looking at fan material is such a good idea, Vinyl,” my girlfriend said, turning and looking at me, worried.
“Aww, c’mon, babe! How bad can it possibly be?” I asked with a grin, using my magic to move the mouse to the back tab and doing a new search.
“Uhhh… Tavi? You’re not backing outta this,” I muttered, my eyes wide as could be as my gaze remained fixed on the monitor screen.
“…I’m worried if I touch anything I’ll contract some ghastly infection,” Tavi replied, also frozen in place.
Seeing no other way to get the image that had made even someone like me uncomfortable I used my magic to try and move the mouse to the back tab. Click, dammit! CLICK! I thought to myself angrily as I focused on it, knowing every second was another second for the image to burn into my poor girlfriend’s mind. With just an extra bit of will, the mouse clicked and we were free.
“Oh, thank god!” Octavia gasped in relief, brushing back her mane with her forehoof.
“Do you think unicorns really use their horns for—” I began.
“NO! DON’T! Please, Vinyl. The image was bad enough, no questions!” my girlfriend snapped, cutting me off. “What is wrong with this bloody fanbase?!” she fumed, “Is there any hope they could come up with something a little more mature? In the tasteful sense, I mean?”
I sighed, knowing we were basically diving back into the shark tank but we needed answers. Using my magic, I got a new search made. Thankfully this one lead us to results Octavia could handle; countless fanart and vectors of… us… nothing smutty but more just… dunno the word… tender, I guess. Like a feel-good romance novel’s pictures that I couldn’t help but get the warm fuzzies over.
“You’re getting good at this, you know…”
“Hm?” I looked down at my girlfriend.
“That magic you have,” she explained. “You’ve only had it for a day, now, and you’re progressing rather remarkably.”
I winced at that. Why DID it seem so easy… so… natural for me? I’d been trying not to think about it, but Discord’s words had made more and more sense. This… body I was now wearing… a part of me felt so good like this, but whenever the thought crossed my mind it made me feel sick to my stomach soon after. I couldn’t live as an alien horse-thing! Even with the talk we had, I wasn’t going to just throw away everything that defined who I was.
…But what DID define who I was and what was just a part of who Vinyl Scratch was? Fans could come to some crazy theories, and with the two of us as ponies who barely got any development in the show, maybe it wasn’t too hard a stretch to say all was fair in what defined who they were. Still, some things seemed pretty consistent. Vinyl was a deejay, into modern music like techno, metal and punk rock, remixing, and the like. She was eccentric and playful, just like I would be if I wasn’t having identity problems. Octavia was posh, sophisticated, refined, and was apparently from the kingdom of Canterlot, which was basically the peak of upper-class lifestyle in this world of Equestria. They were a lot like us, right down to their special talents they were known for.
Equestria was real, but how did it end up getting a show made about it? Why did it take so long to happen if we'd somehow been connected to it since we were born? Why were there previous versions that hadn’t been used?
My thoughts were derailed as Tavi accessed a video called Epic Wub Time, which made me forget all about what I’d been thinking. I had to admit, it was pretty impressive for fan work. The voices were surprisingly accurate and the personalities were, too, the one difference was they were more depicted as odd-couple roommates. Other videos, however, played it differently and more… intimately.
“Hm, wonder if I really can make a bass cannon,” I mused. “What I could do with that to this Discord freak and those stupid cops next time they give us trouble!”
“Vinyl, I may not be a major in engineering or technological sciences, but even I can tell something with that much power would sooner throw you halfway across town with the recoil alone then obliterate an opponent,” my girlfriend said dryly.
“Aw crush my dreams, why doncha?” I asked with an eyeroll. “What’re you gonna do? Serenade them with your classical music till they fall asleep?”
“As opposed to making their ears bleed with random noises and beats that schoolchildren pass as music these days?” Tavi asked.
“Hey, at least my music appeals to the new generation. Yours just plays in stuffy old mens’ studies!” I replied, grinning.
“I’ll have you know that Beethoven had more musical talent in his bloody nosehairs then your Daft Maws or Dead Punks!” she snapped smugly. Okay, it was on, now…
“Talent for helping people like me fight insomnia!” I shouted, my muzzle pushing against hers.
“As opposed to wishing for deafness!” she yelled, pushing back.
A second passed, both of us huffing in eachother’s faces on the lounge chair, still holding one-another to keep from falling off. And then, the other shoe dropped and we did the only thing we could think to do.
We laughed. Granted she simply held her hoof to her mouth and laughed more softly while I just let loose, causing both of us to fall from the chair to the floor.
“Is it odd that this all seems so normal… even like this?” Tavi asked me after another moment of silence.
"Yeah, it kinda does... but after all this I'm not gonna complain," I said with a smile. “I dunno about you, but suddenly I’m really hungry,” I said, climbing off her. “You know, I’m in the mood for a pizza, how about you?” I asked, floating my phone from the coffee table and nudging it open with my forehoof. “I may be stuck like this but it doesn’t mean I can’t still enjoy pizza… just gotta remember no pepperoni anymore,” I muttered bitterly.
“Vinyl? Say you do happen to order one, how do you expect to explain everything to the delivery boy when a small, white, talking unicorn with a blue mane answers the door? Either way one of us is going to need to,” my girlfriend asked.
Shit. I hadn’t really thought about that. “Look, I kinda have this feeling the only way we're gonna get food now till we figure out how to cook without hands is by ordering out,” I said, carefully getting to the number of the pizza place on my speed dial. Two minutes later, my order was secure and paid.
“I can not believe you did that,” Octavia said flatly as I walked past her and lay down.
“Why?” I asked. “Look, all we gotta do is slide out the money for him to take through the mail slot and grab the pizza soon as he leaves!"
"What we need some idea of what to do next and...” Octavia began, and my eyes immediately widened.
“Aw FUCK ME…” I shouted.
“My gig! I’m supposed to have a gig tonight!” I said, scrambling back up on my hooves and pacing back and forth. “Dammit, how am I gonna go there like this?!”
It was Tavi’s turn to go pale, or as pale as she could under a slate-gray fur coat.
“Orchestra practice. They’re going to drop me if I miss out again, especially after last time when I left early!”
Crap, now she was panicking. "Hey, babe, let's just be calm about this... it's not gonna get any crazier on its own," I replied, trying to calm down.
As if to answer what I'd just said, my phone immediately started ringing. “Oh god, PLEASE don’t be Jay, please oh please oh PLEASE don’t be Jay…” I muttered, slowly approaching and sure enough, God was not on my side. I could say that Jay and I were on pretty good terms, practically buddies as he owned a club and helped me get a couple gigs there when times were slow for me… hell I’d been working on one when my hair first started going blue. He was pretty cool but I also knew he was the type who kept calling till I picked up. I looked at Octavia, who sat down and raised her hooves indicating she’d be unable to answer it herself. Sighing, I floated the phone up and opened it. With any luck he might mistake me for her.
“Hey,” I said.
“Olivia? Is that you?” I heard Jay’s voice ask on the other end of the phone. Right...it'd slipped my mind for a second that II now had a girl's voice; came with the girl parts and everything else about me that now fit the female gender.
“Uh yeah, yeah it is! How might you be?” I asked, trying and failing miserably to sound as British as possible in my state of panic.
“Look, is Vic there, I need to talk with him about that gig he was preparing for my club tonight,” he replied.
“Uh… look… he’s… really not feeling well, he’s come down with a rather alarming illness,” I said, still trying to keep up my impression of my girlfriend, and judging from the facehoof she was making I could see she was not particularly impressed by it.
“Seriously? Now? I can’t cancel on this short a notice! I got a full house!” he replied, clearly freaked to hell, not that I could blame him. If I’d had the sense to call yesterday or the day before it would have gone more smoothly but now… god I was fucked like a cabin boy on a pirate ship. How was I gonna explain I turned into a female horse alien?
“Look, I don’t know how to fuckin’ say this but this isn’t a good time!” I said, promptly slapping my hoof to my mouth when I realized I’d severely broke character. Not once in the many years Olivia and I had been together did she ever use words like that.
“…Vic?! Is this some kinda joke?!” Jay asked. “Dude, I dunno why you're doing funny voices at a time like this, but you’re my buddy and all, so I can let this slide this once. Look, I’ll be right over, if you’re so serious you can’t make it I can at least pick up the tracks and get one of the guys to play it if you can write some directions for them. I’m in a really serious crunch here, canceling is completely outta the question!”
“I… I…” I stammered, and heard the phone go silent signifying the call was over.
“Vinyl?” Octavia asked, cocking her head as she looked at me. I released my magical grip on the phone and let it fall on the carpeted floor and silently climbed on to the sofa, where I proceeded to lay down, draw in a deep breath, hug the nearest pillow to my face, and let loose every swear word I knew as loudly as I could, my hind legs kicking and flailing about as they threatened to dig into the cushions while I continued to vent out my anger and frustration that managed to go from bad to 7th Circle of Hell in the last few minutes; a lone, logical thought passing through my mind as quickly as it had come to be replaced by more anger.
I was really gonna need that pizza by the time this was over…
I consider myself a reasonable and often level-headed woman for the most part, I attempt to plan out my days to ensure I can avoid finding myself without solutions to problems, but I will admit Vic had always been more spontaneous and able to roll with the punches, so to speak as a result. This, however, it appeared, was not one of those times. If turning into a small female unicorn wasn’t already presumably taxing, nor the discovery that the characters we’d turned into had far more significance to the fanbase of the show they’d originated from then the show’s canonical material itself weren’t the straw that broke the camel’s back, then it would seem an unexpected and unavoidable visit from someone whom she would not find a way out of directly interacting with most certainly did.
“Vinyl,” I muttered when my boyfriend-turned-marefriend finally finished using what I assume to be every manner of profanity she had learned in her life of growing up in the New Jersey suburban area. “Are you quite finished? I don’t think yelling obscenities into a pillow is going to change the fact that your friend is going to be over here shortly and he will need to be provided a reasonable explanation as to why two small, talking horses are there to greet him at the door.”
“Mmmmfffoo…” Vinyl muttered, finally pushing the pillow aside clumsily with her hoof. “What do I do? Just open the fucking door and stand there with a big dumb smile on my adorable pony face?” she asked with an eyeroll. “Maybe he’ll just take the remix, go home and think he’s stoned off his ass again.”
“…Again?” I asked.
Vinyl rubbed the back of her head sheepishly. “Yeah, well, when the club closes down the bongs come out,” she explained.
“…Vinyl, didn’t you learn anything from that beach party we went to over our last spring break at college?” I muttered while facehoofing. Vic was the best thing that ever happened to me, but given the places and people he sometimes got gigs for, it would have been foolish of me to assume none of them were of an unsavory lot.
“Babe, I had no way of knowing the lady selling that cake had seriously laced it!” Vinyl protested, climbing down from the couch. I sighed, remembering that experience; I’d been fortunate to get Vic to the hospital before anything especially bad had happened. “Besides, you know I’d never touch the stuff,” she rolled her eyes a bit. “…knowingly, anyway.”
“Well, as glad as I am to hear that, it doesn’t change the situation at hoof,” I explained, wincing when I realized I’d said hoof instead of hand.
“Well, he’s always been good about paying me in cash, so at least it means more money. Just gotta figure out how to give the disc to him,” Vinyl mused, rubbing her chin with her forehoof.
“You spent five minutes venting your spleen into a pillow, Vinyl. It’d better be fast because I can’t say I know your friend enough to solve this for you,” I replied.
“Chill, babe. Just let me handle—” A crisp knock at the door and her eyes nearly bugged out. “Fuck me…” she muttered.
“Yes?” I called, approaching the door.
“Spencer-Ravensdale, right? Your pizza’s here,” the male voice on the other side of the door said, prompting me to glance over at Vinyl who let out a sigh of relief.
“Um… thank you,” I said, leaning against the door and glancing down at the mail slot. “Let me get the money and I’ll slide it right through.”
Vinyl searched through the pockets of her cargos she’d still left on the couch after this transformation had completed itself and pulled her wallet out with her teeth, focusing on it for a moment to take out a $10, floating it over to me. Rolling my eyes, I opened my mouth and took it in my teeth, walking back over to the door and nudging the slot up with my hoof before sliding the money through. “You’re welcome to keep the change. Consider it a tip for being so fast,” I said urgently.
“Uh… okay, thank you,” the deliveryboy said, and a few seconds later I could hear him leaving, getting a sigh of relief out of me.
“Well, I suppose that could have gone worse,” I said dryly, only to have Vinyl rush over to the door and pull the knob with her teeth as she leaned against it, opening the door and falling on her back in the process.
“Oh goodness, are you alright, Vinyl?” I asked, not wanting to leave the door open longer then necessary.
“I’m fine babe, just let me grab the pizza real quick!” she answered, getting up and trotting outside to lift it up with her magic.
She suddenly froze, the pizza falling back to the floor before it had made it an inch in the air.
“Vinyl, what’s wrong?” I asked, she remained silent, staring to her left with her eyes and mouth wide open.
“J-Jay?!” Vinyl stammered, prompting me to rush to the door and peer out against my better judgment. Outside only a few feet from us was a thin young man who looked around our age with shaggy blond hair and a five o clock shadow, all in all someone I featured would be the type that fit Vic’s earlier description.
“What in the hell?!” he muttered, staring agape at Vinyl and myself.
Vinyl laughed nervously and nudged the pizza towards me with her hind hoof. “Hey, Jay, dude! What’s up! Yeah, that phone call must’ve been way weird, huh? Well now that you’re here how’s about you hand me that cash and I’ll hand you that mix and we can go on with our lives, whaddya say?” she asked, causing me to facehoof in disbelief as she apparently decided to adopt the method she so sarcastically offered previously on dealing with him. Jay simply stood there, frozen in place as he slowly raised his finger and pointed at her wordlessly.
“Vinyl, honestly?!” I muttered.
“You… you’re…” Jay stammered, falling to his knees and continuing to point and stare.
“I’m what? Dude, did you get a whiff of the bong before you got here?” Vinyl asked, causing me to facehoof again at her desperate attempts. Then again, I wasn’t exactly drawing up alternatives. Sighing, I slowly stepped out.
“Look, we can’t exactly explain it ourselves, but something has happened to Vin-…Vic and myself. I gather you are going to spend the rest of the day wondering what you are seeing and run the risk on our part by telling others if I do not intervene, so perhaps it may be in our… and your best interest you listen well,” I explained, looking back at the door. “Would you be willing to come inside so we’re not out in the open?”
He did not respond, but managed a small nod as he stood himself up and followed me in, Vinyl trailing behind as she levitated the pizza again and brought it inside with her.
“Dude, stop starin’! It’s way rude!” Vinyl protested. “Yes, it’s me, Vic! I know I look a little different but it’s me in here!”
“A little different?!” Jay asked, speaking for the first time. “You’re Vinyl Scratch and Octavia!”
Both of us stared agape. “Dude, you watched that fucking show?” Vinyl asked.
“Who didn’t? Aside from you guys, I guess,” he said. “I mean, I wasn’t… like, obsessed or anything, but hey, everyone’s got a guilty pleasure!”
“So that’s what you’ve been doing when you said you were hitting the bong!” Vinyl said, realization on her face.
“Oh, no, I’d get high as the heavens, alright. Just, I usually watched the show, too,” he explained. He stared at Vinyl again. “Vic, buddy, are you a…” he pointed at Vinyl’s hindquarters.
“Minus my man card? Yeah,” Vinyl replied bitterly with a rather horselike snort as her ears drooped for a second.
“Whoa, what’s that feel like?” Jay asked, causing me to facehoof for the umpteenth time.
“Like I’m a horse with a vagina! Whaddya think it feels like?” Vinyl snapped, sitting down indignantly. I couldn't blame her, that question was rather absurd to ask.
“Sorry, just… damn,” he muttered. “This explains a lot…”
“What do you mean, this explains a lot?”
“Well, look don’t judge me, I sometimes troll the fan forums, usually when I’m high enough to be more creative about it, but anyway, there was like a buncha those brony freaks saying they were turning into ponies. I thought it was some kinda stupid roleplay so I was like, trolling ‘em and sayin’ crazy shit like I woke up a little hoarse and stuff, totally pissin' them off and all, and—”
“Dude, that pun's terrible,” Vinyl deadpanned.
“I have to agree,” I added, wondering what in the world he and Vic were like when they were spending time around one-another, but on second thought, it may have been for the best that I didn't. “But get to the point, please.”
“Yeah, well it was starting since, like the beginning of May,” he continued.
“We noticed. We looked around online as well. I suppose now I know who that dullard who couldn’t type was…” I replied, giving him a look.
“I just… can’t believe it’s real, I mean I should, what with you guys being here looking like that…” he stammered.
“Well, look, here’s your mix, you got my cash?” Vinyl asked, clearly trying to change the subject as she floated the cd to her friend’s hands, only for her to yank it up with her magic before he could take it. “And since we’re like, buddies and go back a bit, can you please promise you won’t tell anyone about this?” she asked, slowly approaching and, to my utter astonishment, attempted the puppy-dog eyes on him.
A moment of silence followed before Jay spoke up again.
“Vic, dude… you’re so adorable, can I please hug you?” he asked with a big grin, prompting Vic to grimace and back away. Immediately Jay let out a laugh. “Just messing with ya, man,” he said. “Sure, I can keep quiet. It’s not like anyone would believe me, right?”
“Don’t be too sure. I don’t need a buncha freaks in desperate need of soap and a stairmaster showin’ up at my door. Could be a body count,” Vinyl replied. “Just keep this quiet, got it?”
“Yeah, sure. I got your back,” Jay said, getting up and taking a roll of money out of his jacket and laying it on the table as he swiped the cd from the air. “Thanks for the mix, Vic… shame you won’t reconsider deejaying at my place. I bet the clubbers’ll love ya!”
Vinyl smiled and rolled her eyes. “I would look pretty boss at the turntables like this, wouldn’t I? At least if those fanart pictures are right,” she said in what I assumed was sarcasm.
“Still, you’d better figure out what you’re gonna do next, I mean, you can’t stay locked up in here forever, right?” Jay asked.
“No, obviously we can’t,” I replied as I stood next to Vinyl. “But we’ll work on that.”
“Heh, and it looks like the fanart pictures were right about something else, too,” he answered with a wink as he headed to the door, causing me to cock my head in confusion before looking and Vinyl and realizing what he meant.
One more facehoof from me before he bid his farewells and was out the door.
“Well… okay, I guess that didn’t go too badly,” Vinyl replied. “Still, that seriously is gonna change the way I look at him!”
I could feel the annoyance override any relief I should have felt from how it had gone. While it was fortunate that Vic’s friend was a closeted fan of the show, and that he didn’t faint at the sight of us. “Vinyl, do you realize that what we’d experienced was nothing more then pure, dumb luck?” I asked.
“Babe…” she began.
“What if he fainted or called the police? The fact he was secretly a fan of the show was probably all that stopped him from any sort of panic!" I said, leaving her wordless. "Others... others who see us might call animal control or something and we'd be on the bloody run in no time!" I could feel the rant coming on. "And furthermore, even then he has a point! How long is it going to be till we need to get out? Our rent’s covered for the month but I doubt we’ll be able to stay here that long,” I said. “We obviously need to keep our eyes online, as much as I’d rather not with what we’ve seen the fanbase to be capable of…” I muttered, letting out an exasperated groan. “This is so bloody unbearable!” I shouted, trotting in place before realizing what I was doing and hung my head. A second later, I could feel Vinyl put her hoof around me.
“Livvy…” she said, using the name I could remember but felt like I was losing. “I dunno what’s gonna happen, but I know sooner or later, something’s gonna pop up. When it does, we’re gonna be ready for it, and we’re gonna face it head-on!” she explained.
“Vic…” I began, looking up at her eyes. It was amazing, really. Behind those beautiful.. ugh… behind those eyes, I could see him in there.
“C’mon, let’s enjoy this pizza before it gets cold, it’s from our favorite place!” she said, getting an eyeroll out of me. “In the meantime maybe we can put that show back on, see if maybe we’re in the later eps!”
“I certainly hope so…” I muttered. There weren’t many other options.
Alas, it didn’t yield many results. Two seasons further and still neither of us had any more relevance to the story then we did in the previous ones. There had also been the matter of eating dinner. While Vinyl got to enjoy the comfort of using her magic to hold slices so she could eat them with ease, I found myself in the extremely undignified position of having nothing to hold my food with short of shoving my face into it like a lowly animal. Even as I was able to nudge a slice upward with my hoof and take small bites to spare some manner of sophistication I liked to believe I was still capable of, I still found myself thinking that between myself and her, the wrong one was provided the magic horn…
It had been getting rather late at night when we reached the final episode of Season 5, where a volcano’s eruption had unleashed all the malevolence of Tartarus, their equivalent to Hell, onto Equestria. Celestia had entrusted Discord to use his power to aid in stopping a powerful demon from laying waste to the kingdom. At first, Discord proved helpful, and the creature was sealed away once more…
And then, betrayal occurred. I shuddered as the distorted creature suddenly cast the Sun Princess into the open inferno, letting out a terrible laugh that seemed to grow louder and began to echo around me, as though he were suddenly in the room with us.
“Vinyl? Do you…?” I asked, feeling my body go numb as I suddenly watched the episode playing again.
The episode suddenly shifted to Canterlot, Discord fired some kind of magic at each of the mane six, disintegrating them on contact… their agonized screams were unlike anything I ever heard as I watched their bodies crumble apart and blow away like dust before breaking the fourth wall and informing all who were watching that this was how Equestria was unmade, but even that did not prepare me for what happened next, as my thoughts instinctively went to a diner in Manehattan…
I thought about the two ponies hiding together, holding one-another in fear of what was happening to their world.
Vinyl and Octavia.
The bright flash of light that appeared before them as they cowered there, shaking all over, and there stood Discord, grinning down at them as he hovered in the air.
“Would you like to see how Equestria ended?” he asked them. “Too bad, because you won’t be around long enough for it, my little musicians…”
I wanted to flush the memories out, I tried desperately not to think about it, but all that came to mind was how when Octavia spoke everything she'd said in that memory, for the first and I feared, last time, she was speaking, fearing for the life of the pony she loved. Vinyl trying to fight him off but it was no use. Discord easily bested her. The look of horror and despair...
"So often the great die before their time!" the draconequus' voice mused in my mind as he stood there, before he turned and sneered at me like he knew he was being recorded or being thought about, "Oh, their music will live on in our hearts, won't it?" he asked with a grin as he snapped his claw.
It suddenly felt as though a fog had cleared, or as if I'd woken from a dream as I saw I was laying on the couch, watching as the somber tone played with the ending credits to the final episode. "Vinyl?" I asked, looking over at her as she sat there, her jaw hanging open and her eyes wide with shock.
"Babe, I think I spaced out for a second, just... thinkin' about what happened earlier," she said, before looking back at the TV and shuddering. "But this... I mean, who puts that on a show for young girls? And how would the show..."
"The same thing happened to me, it's weird but does it feel like you were still watching it?" I asked, hopping from the sofa to the computer and nudging the mouse with my hoof after climbing onto the chair. Vinyl joined soon after, typing in a search for the show's finale to see if that madness we'd just witnessed were real.
"Whaaa?" she asked. "There's like a buncha edits and arguments over how it ended! People seem to be remembering it differently! No one said anything about one with us!"
Slowly, my forelegs fell to my sides as I slouched in the chair, my ears drooping as the thing we'd considered, the thing that possibly only denial has kept us from determining even after the chaos god himself had appeared in the flesh before us had all but proven to us came more and more clear. "Vinyl... match the usernames with the posts regarding the different endings and look for anything recent..." I said softly.
Nodding, Vinyl used her magic and did so, choosing a random name of someone insisting they remembered it differently and clicking on it, and found the most recent posting on the wiki site for the show. To my, and without doubt Vinyl's horror, it corresponded to a post about experiencing changes similar to those we had experienced on their twenty-fifth birthday. Vinyl looked up the name of the pony the poster had described, and both of us stared.
"Discord... he..." she began.
"...Was telling the truth..." I said. "All of this... us as ponies... the fact it looks like only we saw that ending with the two ponies we turned into... an entire scene dedicated to them when the show never bothered to give them such attention before... our..." I took a few breaths. "Our relationship, everything, Vinyl, it's without a doubt, now... there's too much evidence."
Before this, I'd considered, weighed the possibility, but even then a part of me found it too preposterous because I still felt like me, like the past twenty-five years were completely real. The question of how much of me was Octavia and how much of me was me had played in my mind and now with all this, it felt all the more certain that everything I was had just been... made from this pony. I looked at Vinyl, who was clearly reaching the same conclusion.
This day had just gone from weird to weirder to slight moments of okay to beyond fucked up. Tavi had been right, we’d managed out of sheer luck back there. Had my buddy Jay passed out or something, things would have gotten way worse, but who knew if the next person who saw us decided to call animal control or claim the people we had been were harboring livestock in an apartment?
And that had just been one of the problems that had popped up in this freakish experience. A finale that looked horribly out of place for the show’s original demographic… fuck, I could only imagine how they took an ending like that… and then it was like being forced to think only about what had happened when Discord had dropped in and showed us the rest of that crazy dream we had when this all started!
I had thought it was insane at first, Tavi wanted to go online to find out about the ending we watched and that’s when things got, how can I say it when comparing it to everything else that had already happened to us… WEIRD!
All the proof… all the fucking proof in the world that I could no longer deny; me and this pony I now looked like… no, this pony I apparently was all along!
I left Octavia back in the living room as I made my way to the bathroom, needing to be alone again. Only this time it wasn’t to think… what I’d seen had done away with any ability to at the moment. All I felt now was how much I wanted to be away from everything, including me.
Walking into the bathroom, I sighed as my hooves clip-clopped on the tile upon entering, nudging the door closed almost instinctively with my hind leg before approaching the shower stall. Frowning, I felt something missing. Looking around, I realized I didn’t have any music. The player we kept in the bathroom for any time one of us was using the bath or shower sat on the small towel cabinet. Walking over I touched the on button clumsily with my hoof, nearly knocking the player over.
“Argh! Stupid hooves!” I snapped, trying to hold it in place with one hoof as I balanced myself on my hind legs to use the other. “C’mon, c’mon…” I muttered, trying to work the dial to get to my own track album and off of Tavi’s. I wasn’t trying to fall asleep, after all. Gritting my teeth, I tried to turn the dial as gently as I could, but still got met with no success. Groaning, I turned away and went back on all fours, heading into the shower stall and once more had to balance against the wall with my forehooves so I could turn the handles.
After being sprayed with a jet blast of hot water that caused me to tumble over and land on my back, my hooves providing no traction what so ever to get away from the water spraying down on me. Looking up desperately at the handles I tried to focus, and I could hear a soft hum that meant my horn’s magic was active, and the offending handle began to glow and turn a little, making the water more manageable.
Sighing, I looked down at myself, laying on my side in the shower soaking wet as the water continued to rain down on me.
“What’s wrong, can’t handle being a pretty little pony?” I asked myself bitterly, looking at the tile as the water pushed my electric-blue mane over my face. “It’s who you are, you know…” I muttered. “Vincent Spencer? Call me Vic, everyone does… your mom and dad, everypo—” I paused. What the FUCK?! Did I almost start talking like one of those ponies? I tried again. “Everyone you knew and loved… all of it fake, right?” I asked, moving my forehooves as I tried to stand. With so little traction thanks to hooves, I was clumsy at first, but eventually I gained enough footing to stand straight.
“The parents you knew, the dreams you had…” I mumbled, holding back my tears as best I could with the water mercilessly raining on me. Taking a breath, I reared back and quickly balanced myself against the tile wall. “Your whole life, your relationship with the sweetest, most wonderful woman you’ve ever known… all just made from THIS?! Why do I still feel like me if I’m someone else?!” I demanded to no one in particular.
“All of it… ONE BIG FUCKING LIE?!" I cried out, slamming my forehoof into the wall. “You’re not real, you just existed so THIS could come back,” I told myself, my tone more bitter then before. Grunting angrily I slammed my hoof on the wall again, ignoring the water from the shower as I then began hitting the wall with both hooves, grunting and groaning lividly with every blow. My wrists… or were they ankles now? Who cared… I could feel a soreness forming in them as I continued to beat the wall. Even with the water raining on me I could feel tears in my eyes, I grit my teeth so hard I thought they were going to snap apart.
“I’m Vi-i…” I stopped myself, the pronunciation of the name’s vowel more close to Vinyl then Vic, I didn’t want to call myself that name. I never asked to be this, now the more I learned, the more that was made evident to me; the less I wanted to be. One would have to be beyond stupid to want something like this! I didn’t care how sore I was getting, at the time I didn’t care if I sprained or broke anything. With an angry yell I slammed both hooves once more on the tile, the pain shooting up my forelegs and weakening my balance. My hind legs weren’t meant to support me in an upright position like this without another surface to lean my weight against and slowly I could feel myself sliding down the wall of the shower to the floor again. Collapsing onto my haunches, I raised my forehoof, staring at its slender, feminine shape under my soaking wet coat. I felt my tail swish along the wet floor, curling against my right flank. “My name is…” I stammered, feeling tears start to flow regardless of how badly I didn’t want them to. Anything but Vinyl Scratch felt kind of… wrong, somehow. The name felt almost instinctive, lending all the more credit of which of us was real.
Everything I’d said to myself felt completely true. Everything I knew… I remembered all my birthday parties, or at least the ones I didn’t have to watch home movies of due to being too young.
My fifth birthday, I had pizza for the first time, at my favorite place; New York style, pepperoni conquering every corner of it and securing its place as my favorite topping in the twenty years that followed. Pictures were taken and I remembered every one of those, too… grease trailing out my lips in one, me slapping my forehead after getting my ass kicked in an arcade in another, my parents and older sister laughing.
I remembered my fourteenth, where I tried to mix a track together. Man, it sucked, almost ruined my own party with that one… one of my friends from high school took credit for its existence saying he accidentally got an old shame of his mixed with mine and put a better one in pretending it had been the one I made to save me from being a laughingstock at my own birthday…
I remembered the ones I’d shared with Olivia, what with us having the same birthday… Olivia… Octavia… Olivia… I remembered our first date, the one I panicked over when I was worried as all hell something would be off and our chances of a lasting relationship would crumble before it even happened. When I saw her, she said her friends had gone nuts thinking she overdressed, or looked too upper-class. I told her no… I told her she looked perfect because if she was going by her instincts; that was who she was. She didn’t need to be anyone else for me, and I didn’t want to be anyone else for her. True, I was probably slightly more casually-dressed then her but I liked to believe it just further showed who we were.
Who we were… my forehoof traced along the shower floor.
Were we meant to fall in love just because two ponies we apparently once were had? Was any of it us or just history repeating? How much of a part did what Discord pulled play into it? Were we just puppets in a goddamn show he was running? Dancing to a script we’d already knew even if we didn’t know it? Were my plans of popping the big question on her just a part of that, too?
I couldn’t hold back anymore, I could feel my body trembling as I just broke down crying, alone in the shower stall I had boxed myself away from the world in. I was ready to spend my life with her, and it had all come crashing down just a few days ago on what was supposed to be one of our best days. Now realizing I was essentially an alien, stranded on a world that I didn’t belong in had made it all the worse.
I balled myself up as tightly as I could, trying to stop crying but unable to. “Everything…” I whimpered, far more pitifully then I’d have ever liked to be. “Everything… all a lie…”
“It's not a lie Vinyl,” a voice said gently.
My eyes snapped open and I saw Octavia Melody’s silhouette standing in the open shower door. I immediately sat up, scooting away from her towards the tile wall I’d vented on. “N-no… babe… I-I didn’t… I—”
“Vic…” she said, using the name I wanted to still have but couldn’t connect myself to. “I could hear you out there, I couldn’t leave you by yourself like that.”
“You shouldn’t have seen me… I must look… and sound so fucking pathetic right now!” I protested bitterly. “I was able to stand up to your dad when he shoved a check with more money then I’d ever see in my life in my face to abandon you, now I’m just a weak, stupid crying pony who realized that part of me I was so proud of for years never really existed!”
“The only lie was on the outside!” Octavia… I could see the hurt in her eyes, but also that attempt to reach me. Slowly she approached, ignoring the water beginning to drench her.
“How?” I asked, I could still feel tears rolling down my cheeks mixed with the warm water. "Vic Spencer only existed because of Vinyl Scratch! Maybe I need to just accept the me I feel like was just a costume or a straight-jacket I was forced to wear for twenty-five years…” I said, my tone still bitter.
“Does that make Olivia Ravensdale, the girl you stood up for, the girl you…” she paused, as if she were going to say something but decided to change it. “…the girl you’ve been with for years the same thing for me? Have you considered maybe who you love and what you believed in had no falseness to it? That maybe it just… hasn’t changed? Don’t think you fell in love with me because of who I am, think of what it was about me that you fell in love with.”
“That’s a no-brainer! You’re smart, beautiful, hard-working… elegant…” I replied.
“And maybe that’s why Vinyl Scratch fell in love with Octavia Melody,” my girlfriend answered. “I don’t consider myself smart… I was just driven… to get away from my parents by any means necessary. I worked hard so I could stay away from them and have my own life, as for elegance and looks, I fancy that’s in the eye of the beholder, and perhaps the one thing I can credit my parents for, they did have plans to make me more marketable to their friends’ heirs after all…” she concluded with an eyeroll. She continued to approach, soaking wet now like I was.
“Babe, I-I…” I stammered, flinching as she brought her forehoof to my shoulder. Slowly, I put my forelegs around it, nuzzling up to her. “I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have broken down like this…”
“Vic…” she said, using the name I once had again. I looked up at her, once more able to see Olivia behind those beautiful purple eyes as she smiled gently at me. “You’ve always been more open with your emotions then I am. I can’t expect to be surprised or disappointed in you for this,” she said. “Don't pretend your past is all just some memory from a dream, or think the present is made from one, either. Every part of it has value,” she leaned forward. “Because it does for me.”
Slowly, I closed my eyes, leaning up for her. I felt my muzzle brush against hers, and then, our lips met. The world seemed to fade around me for a moment; a surge went off through my body as I kissed her, not wanting to stop. Slowly, we broke off, I realized my forelegs had moved to around her barrel, and hers around the base of my neck. Immediately remembering what she’d said to me earlier, I turned my head away. “S-sorry… I… I didn’t…”
“Vinyl…” she responded, smirking. “About that, thinking about all that, and… knowing I still feel the same as I did before with you…” I swear if she could under that fur she’d be blushing. “The man who stood up to my parents and turned down all the money they offered, and the pony sitting here sulking in the bloody shower are one and the same. No one’s perfect, I didn’t fall in love with you because I thought you were a perfect person, I fell in love with you because for all your little idiosyncrasies, you’re perfect for me. Octavia Melody fell in love with Vinyl Scratch for what I’m certain are the same reasons Olivia Ravensdale fell in love with Vic Spencer. Because despite that colorful vocabulary and horrid noise you call music, you’re funny, charming, very dedicated to your dreams, willing to defend me, and I fancy being rather cute did play a part as well,” she explained, nudging my muzzle with her hoof and I couldn’t help but let a rather girlish giggle escape me.
“Aw geez, babe, you made me have a girly moment!” I protested, covering my face with my hooves. “And when did you get all Socrates on this?” I asked.
“First of all, this isn’t a matter Socrates would pursue. Second, as I said, I heard you in here… and if there’s one thing that’s made our relationship work more then anything is that we’ve been there to help eachother when one is unable to face a problem. You don’t have to keep proving to me you’re the man who knows all the answers,” she said.
“Well, I guess that can’t be argued with…” I muttered, my tail flicking as I looked spitefully at where my new lady-parts were located.
“That’s not what I meant,” Octavia replied with an eyeroll. “But you do make a rather lovely mare.”
“Likewise,” I replied, managing a small smile.
“But anyway, I thought about everything we’ve been through together, and everything we’ve been through before we met… it’s far too important to just throw away. It defined who we are a lot more then this ever did. We still feel like us inside, don’t we?” she asked. “That kiss we just had surely proves that?”
“I… I guess,” I replied. I looked down for a second then back up at her. “Livvy?” I asked, using the name I’d called her for years.
“Yes, Vic?” she asked.
“We should probably get outta this shower the water’s been runnin’ a while hasn’t it?” I asked, my horn glowing as I focused on the handle and shutting it off.
“That may be a good idea,” she replied. “I just hope you know how to work a blowdryer with that stunning display of magic you’ve been picking up,” she ran her hoof through her mane, which began to look more and more like someone had dumped black lo mein noodles on her head. “…and possibly a hairbrush.”
An hour of trial and error later we’d managed to dry ourselves off, for the most part clean and our manes brushed out, though I couldn’t help but think mine could use a little manespray. Looking in the mirror it just seemed too girlish for my taste just hanging straight like it was.
Still, there probably wasn’t much of a point to it as it was getting late and both of us were getting tired. Returning to our bedroom, I climbed up on the bed and tugged the covers open with my teeth, looking down at my girlfriend who shook her head and climbed up with me. Rolling on her back, the gray mare slid herself under the covers, though with some struggle as her hind legs bent differently then she was used to.
“Don’t. You. Dare,” she warned, eyeing me as I stifled a laugh.
“Hey, did I laugh? Don’t think I did,” I replied, climbing under the covers and flopping down on the soft bed. Looking over at the light, I tried to focus on the small chain and my aura just surrounded the light itself, prompting a sigh from me.
“Come on, damnit!” I protested, trying again with the same results then looking back at my girlfriend. “Don’t. You. Dare,” I said, echoing what she’d said to me earlier.
“I don’t recall laughing, as tempting as it is,” she answered, stifling a few giggles of her own.
Snorting, I made a few more tries before nearly yanking the whole lamp off the nightstand to turn it off. The bedroom now illuminated only by the moonlight of the night sky, I rolled over and faced Octavia, who was already resting her head against the pillow as she watched me.
“It really has been a crazy couple days, hasn’t it?” I asked, shifting onto my back.
“Yes… it most… certainly has…” she muttered sleepily. I heard her grunt a little as I felt her snuggle up against me.
Smiling, I turned back towards her, sliding my forehoof under her neck, my other draped overtop of her in an embrace as I looked out the window.
“Hey, babe?” I asked gently.
“Mmm…?” Tavi mumbled, I had no idea how awake she was but I decided to bring my question anyway.
“How’re… how’re you holding up? I mean… being like this?” I asked.
“I’ll… manage… I always have… found a way to… manage…” she muttered, her voice getting softer after every pause. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, but it made me hug her a little more tightly as I felt my eyelids grow heavy and the need for sleep finally won out.
“Olivia, dear, don’t let your venison get cold,” my mother ordered as I stared down at my dinner. What was I doing back here? I was twenty-five I’d turned my back on my parents long ago.
The massive dining table was filled with activity, populated by many of my father’s guests and friends as I sat to his left and my mother to his right while he took the head of the table. A great chandelier hung over the table, lighting the room and making me feel the lit candles on the table were rather meaningless. I fancy that my father just liked to show off as much as nearly everyone else here.
As our servants moved about the table I couldn’t bring myself to eat any of my dinner. I was all dolled up in a fancy black gown my parents had chosen for me, my hair up and a diamond necklace around my neck no doubt ensuring that I was just another thing for my parents to put on display. Like a princess, how very true… I thought to myself as I stared down at my food. “I fancy you and I have something in common; we’re both pieces of meat put out for others to appreciate,” I muttered.
“Mind your tongue, Olivia, those unseemly manners are not acceptable at dinner,” my mother said.
“Is there something wrong with your venison?” my father asked.
“N-no… I just…” I responded defensively.
“Would you prefer salad or perhaps a bale of hay?” my father asked sarcastically, our guests giving those insufferable upper-class laughs.
“Excuse me? What would I eat hay for?” I protested indignantly, slamming my hands on the table but hearing a loud clop sound when I did. Looking down, I realized I no longer hand hands. Or arms for that matter. Or even clothes.
Black hair tumbled in front of my face and I brushed it back with a gray forehoof. Patting my face and finding a muzzle in place of my mouth, I realized I was that Octavia pony again, in front of my family and their friends. “What in the blazes…” I muttered.
“I say, since when did you allow animals at the table, Mr. Ravensdale?” one of my father’s friends asked.
“Well, it can’t be argued that when you have a horse for a daughter it can be a little embarrassing!” my father said with a hearty chuckle. “Though I suppose it is my fault, I should have remembered equines aren’t particularly keen on venison.”
“They’d probably consider it bordering on cannibalism,” my mother said, covering her mouth as she chuckled in a manner most in their circle deemed polite.
“I’m NOT a horse, dammit!” I protested. One of my father’s friends facepalmed and shook his head.
“I admit it was hilarious years ago, Mr. Ravensdale, but I’ve been telling you all this time; you raise it like a human, it starts thinking it’s one.”
“I AM human, or… was, but still!” I snapped, climbing onto the table and kicking over a candle.
“Bad horsey!” my mother yelled, pulling a crop from seemingly out of nowhere and slapping it on the table. “Off the table when we have guests!” she ordered, looking at our guests. “Our apologies. She gets so worked up when she’s not allowed to enjoy a good gallop outside.”
“That’s quite enough, Olivia. We tolerated you living with that other mare, but it’s time to settle down with your family again,” my mother said.
“You never could be happy for me, could you? I always had to be what you wanted!” I yelled, slamming my hoof on the table angrily.
“Right, that’s it. You’re going back to the stables,” my father said firmly. I blinked and suddenly we were in his horse stables, his prize stallions making a big fuss as my father stood there with me.
“I gather it was a long shot to pair you off with a suitable heir, but it doesn’t mean you’re entirely without use to our family,” he said. “Judging from your attitude, it’s quite evident you’re going into season now, aren’t you?”
Oh HELL no…
“I’m not a bloody breeding animal, I’m your daughter!” I protested, trying to get away but toppling over.
“Is there a difference?” my father asked as he looked down at me, his eyes suddenly becoming bright yellow with red pupils as he prepared a harness. Immediately I let out a scream, flailing my forehooves to get him away from me.
“Ow! Hey! Stop it! Ow!” my father shouted angrily as I continued to hit him…
“Ow! Hey! Quit it, already!” Vinyl shouted as my eyes snapped open. “Babe! Hey, you alright?” she asked, her eyes wide with concern.
“…Yes, I’m fine,” I said, sitting myself up and discovering I still had a very much equine body. “Bad dream.”
“I’ll say, thought you were gonna bruise me up there good,” Vinyl replied. “…I gotta say, you got quite a bit’a power in those hits.”
“Well, the show did imply… earth ponies I believe they’re called… have inherently greater physical strength then pegasi and unicorns. I imagine it makes sense, one would have to compensate for a lack of magic or flight,” I said.
“So… what were you dreaming about? Anything you can share?” Vinyl asked, putting her forehoof on my back.
My own personal issues with my parents… Discord…
“I don’t remember,” I said. Despite what I’d said to Vinyl that night, there were things I didn’t want to admit to, such as how different our lives were going to be, especially when we left the apartment, and that despite everything, least of all did I want to admit I felt my conflict with my parents was still to this day unresolved. I didn’t need Vinyl to have anything else to worry about, not after I’d pulled her from such a state of despair. “Not everypon—” I sighed, trying to avoid a ridiculous slip of words. “Not everyone remembers their dreams, regardless of how frightening we recall them to be.”
Vinyl sighed, pawing at the mattress with her hoof. I had a feeling she suspected I was hiding something, but wasn’t going to press. “If you say so,” she said, looking over at me.
I gave a bitter laugh. “You know, maybe there’s a positive aspect to all of this. If I’m a pony, my parents have no use for me anymore,” I said, looking myself over in the dimly-lit room
Vinyl chuckled as she turned to her side. “Wish I had that optimism. Best I can think of is what Jay said about how I’d be adorable at the turn-tables.”
“Well, a lot of those brony fanboys seem to think so,” I replied, smirking at the admittedly quite adorable image of a miniature white unicorn with a wild blue mane working the sound stage.
“No way, not appealing to that crowd!” she protested.
“Being Vinyl Scratch, you don’t have much of a choice,” I said, bopping her muzzle with my hoof. “You adorable little mare, you,” I teased.
“Hey, watch it!” Vinyl said with a laugh as she rubbed her muzzle. “Look… babe…” she began, “As much as I’d love to go back to how things were, with me about to… well… point is, I wish things could be that way again, but with all we’ve found out, you made a point. Denial’s not getting us anywhere, and I think I know what I wanna do next when we get the chance.”
“And what might that be, pray tell?” I asked, worried about what she’d say.
“I gotta see my folks. I need to tell them. I’m their son after all, and sure we’re not the most…” she paused a moment and put her hoof to her chest as she tilted her head up. “…savory lot…” she said in a dialect that sounded more like a poor attempt at cockney then the RP dialect that existed in my family for more generations then I desired to remember at this hour. “But I’m certain you remember them fondly enough to not mind paying them a visit, right?”
Vic’s family was certainly outside the element I was used to; Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, not to mention Vic’s older sister and her twins… sweetest little girls I’ve ever met, they were… my parents would have called the steamed crab they made the first time he brought me over a ghastly commoner dish by comparison to anything their wealth could put on the table, but there was a warmth in that family that made me feel more loved and appreciated then I ever did at a single dinner I’d had with my own family.
“If we find a way to drive a car, I see no problem with that, Vinyl,” I said, avoiding getting too lost in thought though now I couldn’t help but imagine how giving them the news their only son was now a second daughter, and a small talking horse from a television show. I suppose the fact that his girlfriend had met a similar fate may help reduce the tension if we were fortunate enough. Who knew how my parents would take it if they learned of this. At best they’d disown me completely and I needn’t worry about them again.
“Hey. Yo. Tavi?” I heard Vinyl saying, causing me to turn and face her. So much for not getting lost in thought…
“Yes, Vinyl?” I asked.
“It’s gonna be so weird; drivin’ like this, I mean. Wonder how we’d be able to,” she mused. “I don’t think either of us can reach the pedals anymore, and steering’s gonna be be rough without hands.”
“As soon as we’re feeling bold enough to leave this apartment, we can worry about that,” I said, and admittedly even if it was the home we’d made, in this state it felt more and more like a prison of some sort; one I wouldn’t mind getting out of when we could.
“I… guess…” Vinyl muttered, I could tell she was getting sleepy. Feeling my own drowsiness returning as it was according to our digital clock 3:43 in the morning, I quietly snuggled up to the mare next to me. After that last dream, being as close to her as I could be made me feel a little more relaxed and hopeful whatever dreams my follow would be far kinder to me.
“Amy… Alicia… I’m serious, you let me go right now,” I ordered, but the two young girls didn’t seem to be listening, oh, no; my nieces were too fucking busy giggling away like the little children they were as they circled around me, putting ridiculous amounts of makeup on me and shoving me into some ridiculously girly dress that’d put that thing they dressed that pony Twilight in at the end of Season 3 to shame.
“You’re so cute, though!” Amy said, suddenly now brushing my mane out. As good as it felt, I for some reason was completely immobilized where I stood, unable to move or even so much as get my magic working. My blue mane had been brushed out to the point it now hung straight and silky just past my chin with all the perfection of a shampoo commercial model.
“I’m not putting that on!” I pleaded, but for some reason my body obeyed as Alicia put my forehooves through the sleeves. I don’t know where they got this dress, why they had it, or why it seemed more intent for a pony then a human but God almighty, I didn’t want to see what I’d look like by the time they were done with me!
How the hell did I get here, anyway? I was just suddenly here, my twin nieces hugging me and saying how excited they were that Uncle Vic sent them their own little pony as the best birthday present ever. Nevermind their birthday wasn’t for another four months, nevermind I sure as hell wouldn’t have sent them ME in my current state even if it had been that time, and nevermind that right now I just wanted to get as far away from them as I could but time just seemed to skip ahead whenever I thought I had a chance.
Such as right now, because next thing I knew I was suddenly in front of my older sister, Amy and Alicia hugging onto either side of me.
“Mommy! Isn’t she just the prettiest pony ever?” Amy asked excitedly, petting my head, which wouldn’t flinch no matter how badly I tried to jerk away.
“She’s our pretty little pony princess!” Alicia giggled.
“Oh she is, girls!” my sister said, a big beaming smile on her face as she somehow took out a full-length mirror from behind her and held it in front of me. “I gotta say, little brother, you sure got a lot more adorable since I last saw you!”
I shuddered and sat right up, taking several deep breaths trying to get the over-feminine, dolled-up-as-all-hell display that my nieces had made me into in that sick dream out of my head.
“Good morning, sunshine,” Octavia said, walking into the room. “Bad dream as well?” she asked. “As I’ve said for years, for someone as expressive as you tend to be awake, you are positively unreadable when you’re asleep.”
“Well, you’ve always said you take that over me snoring,” I replied sheepishly. “Just a tad worried how my nieces are gonna take finding out they got a new aunt if they see me.”
“Well, I do seem to recall from the times I’ve met them, they would probably be rather taken by you,” she replied, smirking.
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I deadpanned. I let the response hang for a moment before changing the subject. “So, how does breakfast sound?”
“Sounds delightful, Vinyl,” Tavi replied with a smile. “Especially with the fact that I’m not quite the cook I was with hands.”
“Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to experiment a little,” I said, climbing rather clumsily out of bed and falling front-first onto the floor, my back end up in the air propped against the side of our bed and my tail hanging in my face. “No laughing.”
“Oh I wouldn’t dream of it,” my girlfriend replied, turning her head and giving a mock-innocent look as she turned and walked away. I always hated to see her go, but I loved to watch her leave, and even as a pony she had not lost that graceful stride and way she carried herself.
Turning and letting my back half hit the floor, I stood myself up and followed, prepared to start our second and hopefully less painful day as ponies.
I am certain there had to be a better way to do this, or possibly there would be if only Vinyl could figure out her magic a little better. In the meantime I had to clean up two broken eggs off the floor and struggle with trying to hold glasses straight with my hooves while Vinyl attempted to pour milk into them. After several trials and errors, however, she had gotten better with it, as though some long-lost skill were gradually returning to her.
Fortunately, we’d been able to settle for frozen waffles in the toaster and fried eggs with sliced apples on the side; not the most stellar breakfast but far from the worst… for the most part.
“Vinyl, must you tease me, so?” I asked, staring as she calmly floated her fork to her food and back to her mouth.
“What?” she asked. “Oh, I get it!” she said, a big smile on her face as her horn glowed once more, and my waffle floated from my plate and up to my face.
“I’m not entirely sure if I find this more, or less dignified then leaning forward and putting my face into my food,” I muttered.
“C’mon, babe! Here comes the big, tasty flying saucer!” Vinyl said with a grin. “Woowoowoowooowoooooo!”
Definitely less… I thought to myself as I gave her a glare and opened my mouth, taking as big a bite as I could to get this over with more quickly. I somehow doubt she noticed my tail flicking back and forth in irritation.
Fortunately I didn’t have to rely on Vinyl for the apple slices, which I was able to fit between my hoof and what I suppose was now an ankle given I had four legs and bring it up to my mouth, allowing me to talk with her for a moment with some semblance of dignity.
“How are you feeling, Vinyl?” I asked before eating another apple slice.
“Mmmff?” Vinyl asked, her mouth full and prompting a facehoof from me.
“Vinyl, what have I told you about talking with your mouth full?” I asked.
Vinyl’s eyes widened and she quickly did a few more chews of her waffle and swallowed. “Sorry. How am I feeling?” she asked. “I can at least say I’m glad I can put breakfast together now without ruining the kitchen!”
“I suppose that’s something to be pleased about, I meant you… about, well… everything. When we talked last night, what we’ve gone through?” I asked.
“Oh, that, yeah…” Vinyl replied, rubbing the back of her head. “Thanks again for that. I was a total wreck back there, wasn’t I? Way embarrassing.”
“Vinyl—” I paused, attempting the name I’d known her by to get my point across. “Vic… what did I say about all this manly pride thing? Mare or not, it’s not shameful to feel afraid of something that goes completely beyond control.”
“Sorry,” Vinyl replied. “Just wish… I could be back at my turn table, mixing tracks, wowing the crowds. Other stuff, too,” she added, looking at me.
“I understand,” I said. I wasn’t exactly going to fit in at the orchestra anymore, or any orchestra short of one that featured livestock but I found it unlikely there were many of those. Even if this was the real us, so to speak, it couldn’t be argued that both of us would have liked to hold on to the lives we were used to as much as we could; after all, we’d both worked hard to get them. “I can’t promise we can get all that back, but we still have each other,”
Vinyl smiled a little. “I guess that’s true,” she said, floating her plate and trotting into the kitchen. “Look, I think we gotta see my folks like ASAP. Soon as we clean up, we call ‘em up and tell ‘em we’re coming over!” she explained, trotting back into the living room and pushing open our window curtain.
“Vinyl, perhaps it’d make more sense to bring them here?” I asked. “We don’t exactly know how to drive like this.”
“Uh… babe? I don’t think we’re gonna have much of a choice…” Vinyl said, gesturing to the window as she stared through it, prompting me to come to her side and spot the police car pulling into the parking lot.
“Shit, shit, SHIT!” I shouted, hopping from the sofa. “C’mon, we gotta take what we need and get outta here! Fast!”
I was certain it was from the little incident two days ago. Cops have a thing against being in the wrong, typically expressed by making the one who proved them as such pay big-time. I was not about to get arrested and… no, we were pretty much animals from the look of things, and I’d seen enough horror stories about what they did to pets on house raids. If Tavi and I were going to get out of this alive, we had to escape and get to my parents’ place.
Rushing to our bedroom I used my magic and floated an open backpack over next to me, then began floating in a few things I wanted to take.
My ipod… no way I was leaving that behind.
Headphones… okay, maybe I wasn’t the smartest on basic essentials but some of these mattered to me.
A box of nails for emergencies sat on a shelf in the nightstand that I also floated into the backpack in case the worst happened.
The box containing the ring for my girlfriend I’d intended to give her back before this all started now floated in front of me. It represented everything I wanted to build with her, everything I’d hoped for, the chance for a normal life… no. I couldn’t leave it here. If… no, when the chance came and the time felt right again, I would do what I’d planned to do. Nodding, I floated the small box into the backpack with a few other things and rushed back into the living room, floating mine and Tavi’s cellphones in as well when I saw it still on the table. My ears twitched when I heard steps fast approaching outside. “Tavi?” I called out.
“Coming, Vinyl!” my girlfriend rushed into the living room carrying of all things her cello case, though she didn’t seem particularly slowed down by it. I guess earth pony strength the show demonstrated was pretty accurate after all.
“Babe, can we really lug that thing around?” I asked.
“I’m not leaving it,” she said sternly. “I’ll use it to smash those sodding officers’ knees in if I have to.”
Not about to argue with her as I knew the sentimental value she had in it, and probably being Octavia only increased that attachment, I prepared to lead her to the back, floating the backpack behind me when a loud, vicious pounding was heard at the front door.
“OPEN UP RIGHT NOW!” A man’s voice I recognized as the officer from the other day bellowed, beating the door harder.
“Mitch! Stop this! This is breaking and entering, and they didn’t do any—” another man’s voice began, but was cut off by the first one.
“Shut it, Jim! I don’t care if they were buying ice tea or donating to a charity! No one makes fools out of the police, and I spent all day and night yesterday tracking the vehicle’s owners,” the first officer, Mitch, snapped.
SHIT I thought to myself, nudging Octavia towards the kitchen where the other door was, but the moment we did I saw a baton smash through the front window, scraping the sides to clear away any glass left. The officer climbed in and paused when he got a full view of us, his partner entering shortly after and stopping halfway through the window as he stared in disbelief at us.
A second of staring passed, before Mitch spoke. “What in the hell kind of pets are these?!”
“You see them, too?!” the one named Jim asked, unable to stop staring. “They look like the things from that show my girlfriend likes…”
“Uh, hey, look, guys… I know this is crazy but we’ve been having a really fucked up couple’a days here!” I said, trying to stop trembling. “Dude, I’m way sorry about the sending you flying and all, but you attacked my girlfriend for no reason and—”
“The FUCK! It’s talking!” the one named Mitch shouted, finally finding words and drawing his gun at me.
“You attacked an innocent?” Jim asked, astonished. I suspect he must have heard some of the story already, or maybe a version that was different from the details I had just given.
“Is that really important right now when there’s these bug-eyed, talking horse-things right in front of us?” the first officer demanded, clearly not denying the accusation.
“We were out buying food because we were turning into these… ponies… we had ice tea that him and his unruly thugs mistook for alcohol, as well as thinking we were underage! They attacked us when we tried to prove that wasn’t the case!” Tavi protested, prompting the first officer to turn his gun on her.
It was pure luck I acted quickly enough to ensnare his gun with my magic enough that when he pulled the trigger he only grazed Tavi’s left hind leg rather then outright kill her. Still, seeing her hurt was more then enough to make me boil with rage.
“How DARE YOU!” I screamed, my anger reaching its peak and suddenly, a weird wave of blue burst from our entertainment center’s speakers, knocking the cop into the sofa and causing him to drop his gun. His partner stared at us, then at him in disbelief, as if unsure of what to do.
“Babe! Are you alright? Can you stand up” I asked, rushing over and putting my forehoof on my girlfriend’s shoulder.
“Y-yes… I’ll be fine… j-just a graze is all,” she answered with a weak smile, getting up and gently nuzzling me to try and calm me down. I looked back at the two cops and floated my car keys off the coffee table.
“Take the backpack and run, I’ll catch up!” I ordered her, the keys still in my mouth. With some hesitation, my girlfriend nodded and grabbed the bag with her teeth, leaping on the fallen officer’s chest as hard as she could and prompting a pained grunt from him as he probably lost his wind before she leapt out the window and rushed to where our car was.
“We didn’t do anything wrong!” I snapped.
“I… I believe you…” the one named Jim said softly. “J-just, hurry before he gets up!”
I managed a small but genuine smile. “Thanks…” I floated the cello case up, not-so-accidentally hitting Mitch in the face with it on the first attempt before sending it outside and rushing out the window as well, following my girlfriend’s example of using the dirty cop as a stepping stone.
Galloping to the car as fast as I could without losing my hold of my girlfriend’s beloved instrument, keys gripped firmly in my teeth, I reached the driver’s side where Octavia was waiting and dropped the keys, pushing the unlocking button with my hoof. Focusing, I opened the driver door and climbed in and across the seats, nudging the latch on the passenger door to open it for my girlfriend who immediately jumped in with our meager supplies. Last but not least I floated her cello case in and she hurriedly pushed it into the back seats.
“Thank you…” Tavi said softly. “Thank you so much for bringing that.”
Our moment was suddenly interrupted by the sound of a bullet impacting with the metal roof of our car. Peering through the front window I saw the first officer standing outside the open door with his gun aimed at us, his partner suddenly came out, trying to wrestle the gun from him only to get knocked back into the wall. “Fuck! He’s still after us!” I shouted, causing the keys to fall from my mouth. “Come on, come on!” I focused, trying to keep from panicking as I attempted to get the keys off the floor and into the ignition. Two tries later, I succeeded, but it wouldn’t turn. It took a second for me to remember nothing was on the brake pedal so it wouldn’t start.
“Babe, turn the key when I get the pedal!” I ordered, my girlfriend climbing over top of me as I leaned down to the pedals and pushed down on the gas one. I smiled as I heard the car start and put my hooves on the steering wheel, but satisfaction turned to horror when I saw our friendly neighborhood psychopath in a badge rushing towards us. Gritting my teeth, I pushed the shift out of park and into reverse, and attempted to focus on the gas pedal with my magic.
“Careful!” Octavia cried out as we backed into a sidewalk and into the lawn when I severely underestimated how much pressure I put on the pedal.
“Sorry!” I replied, trying to keep calm as I nudged the shift into drive, thanking any deity that chose to listen for giving me the good sense to buy a car with auto-shift. Turning the wheel we sped into the lawn again, and through two signs before speeding straight ahead.
“Anything else you plan on running into before we get out of here?” my girlfriend asked as she looked at the fallen signs through the rear window.
“Look, you wanna drive this?” I asked, trying to turn again and once more going too fast for my own good, causing us to both nearly tumble out of our seats.
“He’s getting into his car, let's go!” she yelled urgently as we saw the police car’s lights come on through the rear-view mirror, Jim rushing for the car but failing to get to it before Mitch backed the car almost as fast as we did and then sped forward, nearly hitting his partner before beginning to follow us through the apartment roads, being no more mindful of property damage then we were.
“Oh God! He’s after us…” my girlfriend observed, staring wide-eyed through the rear window. Time for my back-up plan.
“I had a feeling this might happen!” I said, accidentally hitting a wire trashcan and sending its contents spilling.
“I don’t think that’s going to work…” she said.
“Not my plan!” I replied with a smirk. “Get the box of nails out of the backpack! Hurry!”
“Box of… Vinyl, this isn’t the Blues Brothers!” Octavia protested.
“It’s our only chance to keep ‘em from chasin’ us, babe! Throw it!” I yelled.
“On it,” she answered, fumbling around with the bag and pulling the box out with her hooves. “Right, here it is! Get the window open!” I heard a crack and saw the side mirror had been grazed. Glancing in the rear-view mirror I could see him withdrawing his gun back through his window.
“Crap! He’s shooting at us!” I shouted, my heart racing now as I weaved through the streets and over some sidewalks. The officer began speeding up, clearly intent on ramming us.
“I noticed!” Octavia answered, “Open the window!”
Slapping my hoof on the switch, the passenger window opened and my girlfriend leaned out, her mane billowing in the wind as she flung the box as best she could and I floored the pedal.
Through the mirror, I saw the box fall open, spilling a pile of nails on the road that the police car failed to avoid, blowing out both tires on one side and causing the car to jerk into the air and fishtail out of control before spinning out, sparks erupting from the side with the flat tires.
“HA-HA! EAT IT, BITCH!” I cheered as I opened the window and looked behind me to blow a raspberry at that bastard of a cop to compensate for having no fingers to flip him off with, only to be punished for my negligence to what was in front of us when I felt something impact and shatter in the front of the car followed by the sound of something small rolling off the windshield.
“Oh, that's lovely, Vinyl! You’ve just decapitated Jesus!” Octavia declared with a hint of annoyance as she looked out the window at what remained of Mrs. Finney’s latest lawn ornament, prompting an exasperated sigh from me as I finally got us off the grass and out onto the main roads.
The next half-hour on the highway proved a lot less stressful with no turns and with little traffic and plenty of open road I was able to experiment a little in managing the pedals with my magic. It did little to calm my nerves, however. We managed to get away from Officer Psycho and from the looks of it his partner wasn’t going to sell us out and may have at least tried to help us. Or at least I hoped it’d be that way. Either way we were at least safe for now and it wouldn't be long till we got to my parents.
“How're ya holding up, babe?” I asked, glancing over at my girlfriend for a second as she sat on her side in the passenger seat.
“Yes… I’m rather amazed I didn’t have a heart attack back there,” she replied.
“Same with me,” I said, sighing and feeling my heart pound just slightly less. “How’s your leg?” I asked.
“It’s fine, Vinyl… it just grazed me slightly, that’s all,” she answered. A second of silence passed and she laughed. “I have to admit, that was far more excitement then I’d ever imagined in my life.”
“You’ve been with me for five years, babe! Where was the bar set?” I asked, smirking.
“Somewhere below turning into talking ponies and getting chased out of the apartment village by a mad policeman,” Octavia replied.
“Okay, I guess I never really expected either of those things to happen,” I mused. “But hey, at least we turned into really cute talking ponies!” I offered, trying to keep the mood light though this whole experience was still pretty weird to me.
“Vinyl Scratch, what are you insinuating?” my girlfriend asked coyly, brushing back her mane with her forehoof. I swear she was blushing.
“Hey, if I’m gonna be on the road running from crazy cops, I’m glad it’s with such a hot mare,” I said with a playful wink, prompting her to cover her face with her forehooves to hide a deeper blush she was probably feeling. The more we joked, the more tension seemed to fade, something that in our predicament I could appreciate.
“I’m a horse, Vinyl… since when did you find equines attractive?” she asked.
“Since I became one, obviously,” I replied. From what I saw with some of the fans, though, that reason not applying didn’t seem to stop them. “Four legs, a tail, being the fairer sex, still taking some getting used to… still, guess it’s just something else to share, huh?” I asked.
“I suppose that’s one way of looking at it,” Octavia answered, sitting up again. “All I can say is your parents are in for quite a surprise…”
I couldn’t help but wince a little. Seriously, how was I gonna even handle that?
Hey mom, dad, check it out! You lost a son but got a daughter and not only that but she’s a horse! Oh, and your future daughter-in-law? Well she’s a horse, too!
The mere idea of the looks on their faces when they discovered two ponies at their door claiming to be their son and his girlfriend was enough to make me wince again.
“Yeah… are they ever,” I muttered, hanging my head a little and blowing my disheveled mane out of my face. We weren’t that much further, now; my folks’ house was maybe another five minutes away. “Still, did you see that, back there? The thing with the speakers?”
“Yes, I think everyone did,” my girlfriend replied. “It was familiar…”
“That memory that Discord freak put us through… Vinyl… well, the past Vinyl, she did something with her magic where she made some speakers blast him. Maybe that’s some kinda… I dunno… thing I can do?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t know, but it certainly sounds useful should we deal with any manner of trouble from people again,” Octavia said.
Didn’t do much good against Discord… I thought to myself. It was a little odd, thinking like that… like the Vinyl from then was me. I guess she was, actually. Just like the Octavia from back in a past life was the same one sitting with me, now; the same woman I had been madly in love with for years and still wanted a future with.
My train of thought shut off when I saw the turn coming up. Managing to stop without sending me or my girlfriend face-first into the dashboard, I gently made a right turn and brought us into the suburban neighborhood where my parents lived. A few moments later and I found their house. I wish I could have called them, give them a little heads-up about us coming over and to be ready for the shock of their lives, but with me putting all my magic focus on working the car pedals and Octavia not having any way to really work a phone we didn’t have much of a choice.
As I brought the car to a stop and put the shift in park, my eyes widened when I looked at the driveway and noticed the third car there.
“Vinyl, what’s wrong?” my girlfriend asked.
“Babe… my sister’s here. And probably my nieces,” I muttered, images of that messed-up nightmare I’d had last night playing in my mind already. “Well… better get this over with,” I said with a sigh, turning the car off and nudging up the door handle to prepare for what awaited us.
“Uh, babe?” Vinyl asked. “You’re not hitting the doorbell. Or knocking.”
I facehoofed. “They’re your family, Vinyl. How about you recover the brass you had on you when we were eluding the police and ring the bloody doorbell yourself?” I asked. Vic was, I admit, daft in his priorities sometimes. How could someone who was so bold as to get into a road battle with a policeman who loved his job a little too much get cold hooves with breaking the ice with his own family? Then again, I feature I would have been the same way, I admit I was glad it wasn’t my parents we were dealing with.
“Tavi?” she asked.
“Vinyl, I’m right here, whatever happens...” I said, putting my forehoof around her and giving her a hug. "After what we just went through, I'm certain you can handle this." Taking a deep breath, she took another step to the door and propped herself against the frame to reach the bell, pressing it with her hoof. My ear twitched at the sound of the ringing.
“W-what was I thinking?! How can I let them see me this way?!” Vinyl asked frantically, trotting in place like I knew the ponies from the show to do when they got anxious. I was about to approach when the door opened and there stood a woman who looked a little older then us; Vic’s older sister, Sarah. For a second she looked ahead in confusion, then down at us and… in record time confusion and disbelief appeared on her face; not that I could blame her, I believe anyone would react in such a way to seeing two small bug-eyed horse-things at the door staring up at them.
“H-hey, Sarah,” Vinyl said with a weak wave. “I know I don’t look like me, but it’s me, Vic! You know, your little brother! Look, you’re not gonna believe what crazy shit happened to me and Livvy these last few days!” she explained with a nervous laugh as she rubbed the back of her head sheepishly.
I barely caught Sarah in time before she hit the floor, it was certainly a good thing I was strong as I was and managed to prop against her as she fell or there may have been injury. Still, I was certain she was hardly conscious anymore.
“Whoa! Sarah! Hey, you alright?” Vinyl cried out, rushing over to her sister as I attempted to set her down and began tapping her shoulder with her forehoof to try and wake her up.
“Who’s that at the…” The question never got all the way out when Mr. and Mrs. Spencer arrived in the hall, and soon both were staring agape at us.
“What in the hell are…?!” Mr. Spencer muttered.
“Heh, yo, dad! What’s up! It’s been awhile, figured it wouldn’t hurt if Livvy and I stopped by!” Vinyl said in a poor attempt at acting natural. “You’re not gonna pass out like Sarah did, are you?” she asked, approaching.
“What… what are you?” Mrs. Spencer asked, pointing down at her.
“Look, despite appearances, it is me, Olivia, and that’s your son, Vic,” I tried to explain. “…and believe me when I say we’ve had a very, very strange couple of days.”
“C-come on…” Vinyl pleaded, staring up at her parents. “For my fifth birthday we went to that big arcade and got me my first New York-style pizza! I’ve been a fan ever since!” she insisted. “Well, maybe not anymore since I don’t think I can do meat, now, but still! We had your special steamed crab when I brought her over for the first time!” she added, gesturing her forehoof to me. “And you got all excited when I told you last weekend for our birthday-anniversary I wanted to… well…” she got quiet and just stared like she didn’t want to say something with me present.
“My god…” Mr. Spencer uttered, clearly still having trouble finding words. “…Vic, is that really you in there?” he asked.
“Do I need to list off all the songs on the first mix I made?” Vinyl asked in response. “As in the one I tried to use for one of my birthday that one of my friends saved my ass from being shamed by?”
She stared up at them, the desperate look in her eyes was painful to see, enough to make me walk over and put my foreleg around her. “Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, I assure you, this pony here is your son.”
“Daughter, now, I guess,” Vinyl muttered, downcast.
A moment passed and her mother slowly reached out and held Vinyl’s chin in her hand, looking into the pony’s eyes, and she looked back, still appearing ashamed and prompting me to hug her a little.
“Vic… that is you, isn’t it?” she asked.
“Hey, mom…” Vinyl smiled a little.
“How… what… how did this happen?!” Mr. Spencer asked, standing back up and looking at us in disbelief.
“We’d best take this to the living room. We have quite a good deal to explain,” I said. “Though first we may want to see to your eldest daughter,” I added, noting Sarah who was beginning to stir from her daze.
This is going to be interesting…
“And then when we got away from Officer Mc-Psychopath we decided to come here and break the news to you,” Vinyl concluded. “We were hoping to invite you over so we could think of a better way to, but obviously that didn’t work out.”
Both of Vic’s parents, as well as Sarah just continued to stare agape at us, I wasn’t entirely sure how much of our story they actually heard, honestly. Luckily Sarah’s daughters were asleep upstairs and had not been awoken by our arrival, which would have surely complicated matters further then they have already become.
“So, wait… the cops came after you?!” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, didn’t you pay attention?” Vinyl asked indignantly. “All because they mistook our iced tea for beer and us for underage kids and were gonna shoot us if we tried to show any ID!”
“Now that I think about it, that sounds typical of them,” Sarah replied with an eyeroll. “Still, you can’t be too surprised they’d come looking for someone who tried to evade them.”
“Well, the one certainly was, his partner seemed to be more on our side about it. Still, we didn’t have much of a chance for, ya know, diplomacy!” Vinyl said, gesturing to my flank where the cut from the bullet graze still was. “I barely saved her from getting killed!”
“Even then, that’s just the most recent insane thing we went through,” I said. “The whole fact we turned into… ponies… from a television show and one of its villains is real and proved the show apparently was real, too, is rather distressing to say the least!”
“Yeah, major existential crisis…” Vinyl said, downcast for a moment before looking up at her parents. “Mom? Dad?” she asked as we noticed them both getting up off the sofa.
“Vic… or Vinyl, is it, now?” Mr. Spencer asked. “This is a lot to deal with! Your mother and I need a moment!”
Vinyl cowered a little, Sarah threw her arms around her. “Mom? Dad? Everything they told us! Look, this is freaking the hell out of me, too, but you can’t possibly be thinking he… she’s… Vic’s not ours anymore, can you?” she pleaded.
“Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, if I may…” I said, hopping down from the sofa and approaching them. “Whatever time you need to mull this all over, do try to understand that is no less the child you raised! The child you helped make into someone I fell in love with, who stood up to my parents who could probably buy out this neighborhood fifty times over when they tried to take me back by force! If you’re even thinking about rejecting that person now, you’re not the parents I spent the last five years wishing mine could have been like!”
Neither said anything for a moment, before Mr. Spencer finally spoke again. “Just, give us a moment, alright?” he asked, more softly then before. Deciding to comply, I gave a nod and walked back over to the sofa, putting my forehoof on Vinyl’s shoulder and gently nuzzling her cheek, getting a small smile from her as her parents went into the kitchen and closed the doors.
Several moments went by; I couldn’t make out a thing even with these pony ears. I imagine they suspected the two of us could hear better now like this. Vinyl was shaking all over. The one who as I’d said stood up to my parents and violent policemen… was shaking all over, at least until her sister gave her a hug and began stroking her mane, something that seemed to calm her down a little. I wanted to help her, I wanted to say something that could make it all right, I didn’t want her to suffer what I had with my own family. But nothing short of the eventual outcome we were waiting for would give us any resolution, for better or worse.
At long last, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer returned to the living room.
“I’m sorry…” Mrs. Spencer said softly.
“Mom?” Vinyl asked, all her previous anxiety returning.
“Sorry… for scaring you back there,” Mr. Spencer said. “Human or horse, you’re our kid, no matter what. And if you ever find this Equestria place, we hope you still think of us as your parents.”
Vinyl had moved so fast from the couch to embracing her parents I swear she’d teleported. Both slouched a little, and returned the hug.
“Not gonna cry, not gonna cry,” Vinyl muttered, smiling.
“Call it liquid pride, Vic?” Sarah replied.
“Yeah, guess you’re dealing with another daughter, now…” Vinyl said, frowning.
“Mr. Spencer? Mrs. Spencer?” I asked, approaching. “Thank you. You honestly have no idea what this means to us.”
“I guess now we know what’s been going on with all those disappearances,” Mr. Spencer said. “It’s been on the news, people vanishing, an explosion in Washington, and now this…”
“Yeah, I think if me and her weren’t among the ones who went all pony neither of us would have believed it either,” Vinyl replied, brushing tears from her eyes and putting her foreleg around me.
“I see the fans were right about one thing,” Vinyl’s sister commented.
“What do you mean?” Mrs. Spencer asked.
“Don’t ask. Really, don’t,” Sarah replied, prompting an eyeroll from me.
“No matter what…” Vinyl began, looking back up at her parents again. “You’ll always be my mom and dad,” she said, hugging them again as best she could for a four-legged creature. "So, look, any way we-"
Vinyl’s speech was cut off by two loud gasps, prompting us all to turn to the nearby stairs where two 8-year-old girls, Sarah’s daughters and Vinyl’s nieces Amy and Alicia stood, both of them staring right at us.
Immediately I began to back away, Vinyl remained frozen in place, her tail swishing from side to side and her ears drooping as her mouth hung open.
“H-hey, girls…” Vinyl said nervously, rubbing the back of her head.
“OMYGOSHPONIES!” the two girls shouted in unison, rushing the rest of the way down the stairs and straight at us.
“Girls, hang on! Girls!” Sarah ordered but not fast enough as Vinyl, who had been closer then I was, was immediately cuddled to the floor.
“She’s so cute, mommy!” Amy said with a big smile.
“And so soft!” Alicia said, nuzzling Vinyl’s cheek.
“C’mon, girls! I’m not a pet, it’s me, Uncle Vic… sorta,” Vinyl stammered.
“You’re not Uncle Vic, you’re a pony! A girl pony!” Amy said.
“Yeah, we know what Uncle Vic looks like, and he’s not a girl pony,” Alicia added.
“It’s rather… complicated, actually,” I said. “Look, the point is, that is Vic, and I’m really Olivia. You remember me, don’t you?” I asked, hoping I’d save my boyfriend from any further embarrassment.
The twins stared at me, then at Vinyl, clearly confused. I suppose at their age the idea of characters from a show they loved claiming to be their uncle and his girlfriend would be rather difficult to believe, then again, I imagine to anyone it would be without a talk like the one we’d had with Vinyl’s parents.
“It’s true, that really is your Uncle Vic,” Sarah said firmly, though I could tell the whole situation was still bothering her. “Something happened, you remember Discord from the show? Well… it’s a long story and I’ll tell you about it later, but Vic and Olivia turned into Vinyl Scratch and Octavia. It really is them.”
Alicia slowly walked up to me and nudged my muzzle with her finger tip. “So… you’re really Olivia?” she asked.
“Yes. Well… it’s… I’m really Octavia, and I was reborn as Olivia and turned back into Octavia, and…” I facehoofed. “It’s all very complicated but I fancy the best way to answer is yes.”
“Wow! What’s it like being a pony?” Amy asked Vinyl. “I bet it’s fun!”
“It’s way weird, kiddo,” Vinyl said with a sigh. “And anything but fun.”
“But you’re so adorable!” Amy said, hugging Vinyl. “So, do you have to go to Equestria, now?”
“What? No way, I’m from here! Born and raised and I wouldn’t want to leave!” Vinyl protested.
“We may not have much of a choice, Vinyl,” I said. “As much as I do love your family.”
“Wait a minute…” Alicia said, looking at the two of us. “You’re both girls now, are you still in love?” she asked with far more innocence then her words would make me expect.
“Pfft, like I’m letting getting turned into a pony break us up if I can help it!” Vinyl said, pulling me into a hug and wearing a big, stupid grin on her face.
“See? I told you DJ PON-3 and Octavia were liz-beans!” Alicia told Amy with a smug grin. “The pictures all said so!”
Now it was everyone else in the room’s turn to stare agape.
“Sarah?” Vinyl asked, noticing her sister looked ready to faint again.
“I love the show but sometimes I really, really hate the fanbase...” Sarah muttered.
“New topic!” Vinyl said abruptly and loudly. “How about we think of some kinda dinner plan since we’re all here?”
Apply hoof to the forehead. Clump. Lovely work, Octavia
“No-OH! Wow, this feels really nice!” Vinyl said as she began slouching a little while her nieces began brushing her mane. "No bows or braids, though."
“They’ve practiced on the dog back home,” Sarah replied. “I can’t lie, little brother. You are extremely cute like this!” she said with a laugh.
“Hey, you do not have the right to call me cute no matter how I look, it’s seriously emasculating!” Vinyl protested.
“I’d think after certain other changes that would be rather tame in comparison,” Sarah pointed out matter-of-factly.
“Don’t be so cross, Vinyl. You’ve made your nieces the happiest I’ve ever seen them since last Christmas,” I said.
“You’re loving this, aren’t you?” Vinyl asked in a flat tone as she stared straight ahead.
“After what we went through earlier today, especially me, I feel I’m entitled to a little harmless merriment at your expense,” I replied, getting an annoyed snort from Vinyl in response.
“Aww!” Amy and Alicia fawned in unison before breaking into a giggle fit. Even I couldn’t help but chuckle a little.
…Until I felt a crisp swat to my flank. Turning, I saw Vinyl’s tail flick away, her eyes gazing upward in a poor attempt at innocence before walking away from the twins and to the full-length mirror in the guest room they’d been staying in.
“Hm, got any hairspray? I think this mane needs a little more…” Vinyl shook her head wildly, her blue mane tossing about in the air and soon it got a wild look much like her television counterpart had. “Style. That’s more like it!”
I cocked an eyebrow, unsure what to make of this, her mane now looked like it had the moment she rolled out of bed this morning. “I should have remembered you’re the type to just apply a can of spray to whatever your hair looks like when you wake up in the morning and call it ‘stylish’…”
“You sayin’ I’m not, babe? I think that's been my thing since... well... birth!” Vinyl said, grinning. “Girls, it’s Tavi’s turn,” she said.
“Oh no, you can’t be serious…” I began to back away but Amy managed to get the first run through her hair brush, and as much as I didn’t want to be treated like a pet by two young girls… I couldn’t help but slouch a little and enjoy the feeling as the bristles passed through my mane. “Hm, this is surprisingly relaxing,” I admitted, defeated.
“My little brother and his girlfriend enjoying getting their hair done. Wonders never cease,” Sarah remarked as she leaned against the wall. “It’s a shame, your diets probably changed, though.”
“Yeah, I don’t get to enjoy meat like I used to. It’s like some cruel joke!” Vinyl protested. “No more New York-style pepperoni pizza for me… may as well take away my… oh, right,” she said with an eyeroll. “At least Chinese doesn’t sound bad,”
“So, any ideas what’s going to happen, now? I mean with being… well… ponies and all?” her sister asked.
“Honestly? We aren’t sure,” I said, looking up from my grooming session. “We were run out of our apartment with only the barest of necessities, and we have no idea where anypony…” I brought my hoof to my mouth. “Sorry, strange habit… but anyway, I mean that we have no idea where to go next, hopefully something will turn up for us. The chaos god who did this wasn’t particularly specific with us outside of taking credit for all of this.”
“Yeah, still trying to grasp that a villain based on a Star Trek character whose actor he was voiced by is real, too,” she replied. "But... still, all of this, it's a lot to take..."
“Yes, it all sounds bloody ridiculous, but he’s as real as we are. Though it would seem not as actively troublesome as he appeared in the show,” I explained.
“Probably because ponies on Earth have plenty more to worry about,” Vinyl remarked. “Case in point, the crazy experience we had earlier today!”
“Discord’s real?” Amy asked, suddenly.
“Could he hurt us?” Alicia asked. “I thought he was good, now!” It seemed that Sarah had chosen not to show them the final episode. Understandable as I imagine many parents wouldn't want their young children to watch something so unexpectedly dark and depressing.
“Girls, he is real. And he’s not good. Not anymore,” Vinyl said, approaching them. “He did all this. But hey…” she looked them both in the eyes. “He still did something good, even if he doesn’t know it,” she smiled. “I ended up in this family, and got two awesome nieces out of it!”
Her words made me smile, reminding me of the Vic I’d fallen in love with. An occasional idiot with dreadful taste in music, but an absolute sweetheart when was needed.
“Now get back to making Tavi all pretty!” she said, grinning deviously at me as she nudged both twins back towards me.
I hate you, sometimes… I thought to myself as the girls descended upon me once more. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Sarah leaving the room.
"Sarah?" Vinyl asked.
"Vic... can we talk? Away from the girls," she asked. It had been evident from the beginning this had all unnerved her, I couldn't blame her, but I hoped for the best as I stood there getting groomed, watching as Vinyl, now with a concerned look on her face, followed her sister out the door.
Even when we had talked with my parents, I knew my older sister Sarah was uncomfortable, and I couldn’t blame her. This was a pretty big bomb to drop on her and my family but Tavi and I didn’t have much of a choice.
It didn’t make me feel any less awkward when she asked if she could talk in private away from the girls, though. With Tavi giving me a worried look, I left the bedroom and moved out into the hall, following Sarah quietly. Next thing I knew, the two of us were sitting together on the floor in the upstairs bathroom, my sister staring down at her lap while I watched her, unsure what to do or say.
“Sarah?” I asked, nervous.
“Vic…” she began, raising up her hand as she apparently wanted to speak first. It did nothing to calm me down, if anything I was even more worried, now.
“Sarah… please!” I begged, starting to approach her only for her to stop me.
“Vic, look, there’s a lot to process here!” Sarah replied, looking at me now. “An alternate dimension that a children’s show was apparently based on exists! One of the most powerful villains from that show being real and being able to come here whenever he wants! My own little brother turning out to be a reincarnated alien from another world!” She rubbed her temples and stared at me. “And that’s without the shit with the cops!”
I tried to think of something to say, but nothing was coming.
“Mom and dad love you… I love you, Vic… but I can’t help but wonder… you keep calling yourself Vinyl every now and then. Your girlfriend even calls you that as easily as she used to call you Vic, and you call her Octavia or Tavi with all the same easiness of how you used to call her Olivia or Livvy,” she explained, leaning a little. “How much of my brother and how much of this pony, Vinyl, are you?”
“I’m me!” I protested. “I still feel like me, I still remember everything I’ve done as far back as I can remember! Yeah, you may have missed out on the listing I gave to mom and dad but shouldn’t that prove something?”
“It proves you remember the life you had,” she explained. “And that’s good, because there’s that part of you still there. You see us as your family, too. But do you feel like a human being in a pony body, or… well… how does that all feel, right now? Having four legs, no hands… being a member of the fairer sex?” she asked, looking me over.
I hadn’t thought that much on it, lately. Sure, a few moments of that it’d take some getting used to, but it didn’t feel as wrong on me as it did when it first happened. People were extremely adaptable to changes, they had to be to survive, but the more I sat there thinking about it the more I realized I took to all this quicker then I’d have thought. Was I just proactive about stuff like I usually was, or…
I slumped over, laying down, my hind legs on one side and my tail swishing across the floor as any certainty about myself I may have had earlier became less clear to me.
This body, it shouldn’t have felt right at all! Maybe I should have felt like… I dunno… like someone twisted me up like a balloon animal? …But I didn’t; the body I had now felt like it was mine. My forelegs moved as easily as my arms once did. My hind legs bent differently then they did when I was human but I could walk like any four-legged animal could now without problems. The short, dainty muzzle in place of my nose and mouth didn’t seem nearly as intrusive or obstructive as it once did. In fact… it seemed normal. Hell, my very female voice seemed perfectly normal to speak in!
Octavia… I’d already realized the way I was attracted to her now was me seeing her as another mare, as a mare attracted to mares. I wasn’t a heterosexual male human in a female pony body, I was a female attracted to other females of my species. I just… hadn’t noticed as quickly as she had when that changed for her.
Being a mare… a female… I may not have been thinking about having some alone time to go exploring thanks to all the craziness Tavi and I had run into, but now with my own sister giving me identity issues that were making her worried as well it just sort of hit me all over again.
“Do you see what I’m getting at?” she asked. “I don’t want to lose you…”
“Babe, you’re not!” I insisted, gritting my teeth and looking down at my hooves for a second. “I had plenty of doses of identity problems in the past couple days, one of which put me through a hell of a breakdown!” I explained. “You think that hasn’t gotten me freaked out? You have any idea how badly I wanna go back to being the fun-loving me I remembered being up till this shit started?! I’d love nothing more then to do that at least, even if I end up being this the rest of my life, I want to be the kind of person I was, then!”
“Vic… god, I’m so sorry…!” Sarah replied, it clearly getting to her now she may have hurt me with her reaction.
“…But still… I’m trying… even if I’m gonna wake up every morning and see this look back at me, every day!” I said. “I don’t know if it’s the right way to look at it or not, but the last twenty-five years gotta mean something if I still feel like it’s my goddamn life, right? Maybe Vic Spencer and Vinyl Scratch are two halves of one person… or pony… or whatever! I still see you as just as much my sister as I did before all this! Why should I be any different to you?” I could already feel tears coming. I grit my teeth again, trying to hold them back as I sat myself back up. “Even if that damn chaos god wants me to believe I’m not who I thought I was, I still feel like who I was for all these years! Hell, I still wanna castrate that fuck-rag Ken for abandoning you once he found out you were pregnant with the girls!”
“…And I asked if you could just hold him down while I did it,” she answered softly. “God, it really is you in there…” she looked down at the floor again, I could see the guilt on her face she was trying to hide. “I’m sorry… it’s just weird seeing what I thought was a character from a show… a background character, talking to me and sounding just like my little brother, and all this crazy stuff just dumped on us,” she explained. I couldn’t blame her, really I couldn’t. It frustrated me to have her so freaked but in her position I could have ended up the same way. Hell, imagine if just me or Olivia went pony while the other one of us stayed human. As frustrating as all of this was I didn’t think I had any right to be mad at her for having a harder time taking all this in.
“Hey, it’s cool… I kinda got a lot dumped on me, too, like finding out that this…” I sat up, waving my forehoof in front of myself. “…was all a past life I had that came back with a serious fucking vengeance!”
Sarah managed a smile as she looked back up at me. “You know, a pony as adorable as you shouldn’t swear so much. Not very ladylike.”
“Hey, I think I’ve already gotten a lot more ladylike then I’m comfortable becoming,” I replied.
“Well, this definitely wasn’t what I had in mind all those years ago when I said I wished I could have had a sister instead,” she said, prompting a snort out of me.
“Please. You needed an awesome brother before I was even born,” I answered. “But… well, I guess now you got an awesome sister, if you’re cool with that, since it’s not like there’s too many options anymore,” I explained as I looked down at myself, brushing back my mane.
“So long as I know you’re still the same person I grew up with on the inside… I think I can live with that,” she answered, pulling me into a hug, which I gladly returned.
“If the people who matter most can love me this way, maybe I can get around to feeling that way, too,” I replied. “…Eventually, anyway.”
“Well, the girls definitely have,” Sarah replied, and as if on cue there was a crisp and frantic knock at the door.
“Vinyl! Sarah! For God sake let me in! Get me away from these two!” Octavia’s voice pleaded from the other side, prompting Sarah to get up and open the door, and I was treated to the biggest test of my ability to stifle the giggles in my entire life.
One which I failed horribly the moment I saw Octavia’s current state.
“Isn’t she pretty?” Amy asked, or at least I think she did, I couldn’t tell from how hard I was laughing at the sulking gray mare whose mane and tail had been done up with pink bows, a small dress rather sloppily put over her neck.
“No… freaking… way!” I said, barely avoiding cursing in front of my nieces in between the hysterical laughter. “Babe, sorry, you just…” and just like that I started laughing again, tears forming in my eyes as I struggled to breathe.
“Sarah, please be so good as to remove these blasted bows already!” my girlfriend asked, then looked at me with a livid glare. “Vinyl, if I had hands, I’d be strangling you!” she snarled, lunging at me and pinning me to the ground. As if realizing her behavior was unbecoming of someone as refined as she preferred to be seen as, she took a few breaths and backed away, downcast.
“Babe?” I asked, cautiously approaching.
“That was rather crass of you to laugh at my predicament, Vinyl,” Tavi replied curtly as she slid her way out of the girly pink dress while Sarah helped get the bows off her mane and tail. “I’m not rightly sure I can forgive you so easily for it, given how you may have hurt my feelings more then I can manage…” she said. “Honestly, we’ve been together how long and you’d mock me like that?”
“S…sorry…” I said, no longer finding the situation funny. “Anything I can do, just name it, alright?” I offered, hoping I hadn’t gone too far. After what we’d been through it shouldn’t have surprised me my girlfriend would be feeling more fragile emotion-wise lately.
A second later I realized the trap I’d fallen into as stupidly as a Loony Tunes villain when a smirk formed on Octavia’s face.
“Hear that, girls? Vinyl is quite anxious to be your pretty pony princess. Do make sure she looks lovely, won’t you?” she asked, and Amy and Alicia immediately squealed with glee as I began to back away.
“Sarah, please help!” I begged, but my sister just shook her head.
“You brought it on yourself, awesome sister,” she said with a smile as I felt the twins hug me and begin nudging me back towards the bedroom.
You owe Tavi for the hell you dragged her through… you owe Tavi for the hell you dragged her through…
This debt is WAY past overpaid! I thought to myself as I stood there with a stone cold expression, Alicia circling around me as they put a glittery plastic tiara on my head and tying the big pink bow on the back of the pink girly dress they’d put me in that barely fit my body shape properly. Memories of that bad dream passed through my mind as they finally finished.
“Are… we… fffffFFFFFFFFUDGING satisfied, babe?” I asked, gritting my teeth.
“Not until you’ve looked in the mirror, Vinyl,” Tavi replied smugly as she gestured at the mirror with her forehoof while Sarah stood nearby, trying her damndest to keep a straight face. My ears drooped as I slowly approached, and shuddered when I saw myself.
The white unicorn in the mirror shared my wide-eyed, mouth-hanging-open expression as she looked back at me. My mane had been brushed strait and draped over one side, a tacky, glittery gold tiara sat on my head and I’d been put in some ridiculously feminine pink dress with a big bow on the back. My tail even got a pink ribbon tied at the end.
“Don’t you look lovely, Vinyl?” Tavi asked.
“Not the word I was searching for,” I grumbled. Any word I was searching for couldn’t be said aloud in front of the twins. “Are we even?”
“I don’t know. It’d be a shame to see you go back to your usual grungy self so soon,” she mused.
“Baaaaaaaaaaabe….!” I whined.
“Kidding! All is forgiven, Vinyl,” she replied, laughing with Sarah while I quickly used my magic to remove the tiara and ribbon off my tail, much to the girls’ dismay. The dress was much harder for someone with no hands to remove. Thankfully the girls knew playtime was over and helped get it off me. Shaking my head to get my beloved wild style back, I let out a sigh of relief feeling like me again.
Dude, no! I’ve only been in this body for two days, this was far from feeling like the me I’ve been for the twenty-five years prior to that! Still, just as it had for a while there was that feeling of how this body felt right on me.
“Vic? You there?” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, I’m cool, just glad to be outta all that girly-garb,” I replied. “Seriously, when’s dinner?”
“I’m just gonna say how happy I am to be able to still enjoy Chinese food!” I declared proudly, thrusting my hoof up into the air.
“If you can call it food,” my girlfriend replied. “But it would seem one has to go to the more genuine restaurants to enjoy the more genuine Chinese food.”
“Yeah, and that’s outta the question while we look like adorable alien horses,” I muttered, my ears drooping. My parents still kept stealing glances at me and Octavia, I guess it had to be weird having dinner with us thanks to how we now looked. Still, fun was had and I saw Octavia smiling again, like the times I’d brought her to have dinner with my parents and she could enjoy the sort of family interaction she didn’t get when she lived with hers.
“Hey, Aunt Vinyl?” Amy asked, prompting me to turn instinctively before realizing what she’d called me. Soon as I turned, my muzzle was greeted with a gentle tap of her hand. “Boop!”
“Good one,” I said dryly as the rest of the family laughed.
“Sorry, you’re just so cute!” Amy replied, hugging me. “And soft! Like a puppy or something!” she added, getting an eyeroll out of me.
“Great, I’m from an alien race that was practically born to be used for children’s marketing,” I teased, putting my foreleg around my niece and returning the hug.
“If I was a pony I’d love it! I bet it’d be really cool!” Alicia said.
“There are people thrice your age and without even a third your maturity that have thought the same thing, I’d wager,” Octavia remarked, holding her iced tea cup in her hooves and taking a sip.
“Be that as it may, we still got no clues where to go or what to do next,” I said, leaning and resting my head on the table, letting out a snort and blowing back my mane.
“If there’s more out there who turned into ponies, it’s gotta be showing up on the internet, right?” Sarah asked.
“More ponies?” Alicia asked. “Like Twilight Sparkle, or Fluttershy, or one of the Princesses?”
“Who knows,” I said, trying to avoid mentioning what I’d seen in that final episode in front of them. Last I recalled, Princess Celestia was certainly gone, it wasn’t likely we’d see her. Luna or Cadance, though, I guess we couldn’t rule out. “Wouldn’t hurt to find out, though I can’t imagine anyone posting they’ve turned into a pony without expecting everyone to think they’re nuts.”
“Not that it seems to stop some people from pretending,” Octavia added with an eyeroll. “It wouldn’t hurt to look again; we’re safe for the time being and away from bloody madmen in uniform.”
“Sure, but first…” I looked at my mom and dad. “Can we just, I dunno, watch a movie or something, like old times? If we find something and gotta leave, I dunno when I’m gonna see you again,” I said, trying my best to use my new adorable appearance to my advantage. Hey, if two eight-year-old girls can do it, I’m sure a small, cuddly-looking alien unicorn with huge eyes could do the same!
My efforts paid off. “Okay, I guess after we finish dinner. Anything you had in mind?” my dad asked.
“Vinyl,” my girlfriend said, narrowing my list down phenomenally by gesturing to the girls.
“Tron Legacy, that’s what you picked…” Tavi muttered as we went to the guest room that had been converted from what had been my old bedroom. “I thought you hated that movie.”
“Eh, still not a fan, but the music? That shit’s pretty sick!” I said with a grin, vocally mimicking Derezzed while I waved my forehooves back and forth. My girlfriend couldn’t help but chuckle as she watched me.
“Oh, Vinyl. Daft as ever,” she said with a smile, climbing up onto the bed.
“It’s why you love me, babe,” I said with a grin, climbing up after her and floating my laptop out of the bag we’d brought and nudging it open with my forehoof as we both lay down in front of the screen that soon provided the only light in the room other then the glow of my magic as I worked the keys and mouse.
After a half hour went by I rubbed my temples as best I could with hooves and flopped my head down on the bed. “Babe, this is getting us nowhere! Just a buncha freaks with too much fuckin’ wish-fulfillment I can’t even tell if it’s real or not!”
“I’m on the verge of giving in as well, Vinyl. But if we’re going to resolve this, we unfortunately have to keep looking through these unsavory prats until we find something that looks legitimate,” my girlfriend replied.
“Well lemme get some inspirational chords, here!” I said, floating my ipod and headphones and plugging it into the laptop. The window came up and I went to my playlist and switched it on. A grin quickly came to my face as the techno beats began playing in my head, with Octavia not having to fear listening to what she still called ungodly noise. Bobbing my head to the beats I moved the mouse along another place that I hoped would be more promising.
…And struck gold, or at least I hoped I did. The post was from someone who was claiming they became Princess Celestia, and had met with someone who had become Luna, along with having found others including three people who had turned into pink fillies of all things. “Hey, babe! Whaddya make of this one?” I asked. Tavi looked at me, saying something before pausing as we both realized my music was drowning her out and she shoved my headphones off with her forehoof.
“If it’s a hoax, it’s rather elaborate and appears to have gone through a great deal more trouble then anypon…” she facehoofed. “Anyone else has.”
“Weird, I thought Celestia had gotten thrown in a volcano, though,” I said, rubbing my chin with my forehoof
“I fancy it won’t hurt to ask,” Tavi replied.
Five minutes of setting up an account later, I switched on the laptop’s webcam and snapped a few photos; one of the two of us side-by-side, one with us cuddling, and then one where I was pushing Tavi’s face down onto the bed with my hooves while grinning. Attaching them, I focused my magic and began typing.
Hey, what’s up? My girlfriend and I saw your post and we’re hoping to all hell it’s legit. The same thing happened to us and we’re hoping you got some idea what to do next or where to go. Here’s a few pix as proof!”
“I still can’t believe you did that last one,” Tavi muttered, brushing her mane with her hoof. “What was that all about?”
“Hey, the stranger the pics are, the more believable they are!” I said, getting an eyeroll from her.
“I suppose all we can do is wait, then,” she replied as I closed the laptop and floated it onto the nightstand.
“Guess so… hope this one’s real. But that’d still be crazy if Celestia survived. I mean the goddamn Princesses gotta have some kinda answer to all this, right?” I asked as I tunneled under the covers and turned, poking my head back out as Tavi joined me.
“I really hope so,” my girlfriend said, staring up at the ceiling as she lay on her back.
“Babe, whatever happens, we’re through this to the end,” I said, nuzzling her. “…Cliché as that sounds.”
“Indeed…” she muttered. A moment passed before she spoke again. “Vinyl?”
“Ever wonder how we met? When we were… like this originally, I mean?” she asked.
I had to admit, she got me there. There were plenty of possibilities and I was kinda curious how the relationship between the original Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody started. “I dunno…” I muttered softly. “Maybe you heard my music and it made your heart just flutter!” I said with a grin.
“And my ears just hemorrhage?” she asked, rolling her eyes.
“Well, hey, we hooked up and have gone strong for years! Or… hooked back up if you wanna look at it that way. Guess it does make me wonder what it was like when it really started…” I mused, staring at the ceiling. “Either way, I definitely came out the luckiest mare around!”
“I…” I heard a yawn as my girlfriend snuggled up to me. “…can’t help but think the same for myself, as frustrating as you can be, sometimes…”
“Prude,” I teased, only to get nudged in the side by her.
“Barmy wanker,” she replied softly, her eyes closing and soon after, so did mine as we both drifted off to sleep from the latest day of our insane new lives.
I couldn’t believe it! How could a night that myself and the rest of the Canterlot Orchestra spent so much time preparing and rehearsing for, a night that had taken such care and practice over the entire year to make perfect, go so disastrously wrong?
“Shot Glass, another champagne, please,” I said, the unicorn bartender obliging my request as I listened to the soft music playing nearby. The establishment wasn’t the pinnacle of Canterlot’s diners, but it was still nice and quiet. After the night I’d had, it was all I wanted.
I leaned against the bar table, my exhaustion denying me any opportunity to hold on to my normally respectable image. Not that my appearance was any better; after the Gala and much of the Cantelot Palace’s ballroom had been reduced to ruin, I’d barely gotten out with my instrument intact and looked a complete mess. My mane and tail, both I prided on keeping brushed to perfection, now looked horribly disheveled, my coat was still a little dusty as well, and I had carried myself in with a tired shuffle. Word of what had happened got around rather fast, so I fancy it was to my benefit as I earned myself far fewer stares then I’d expected. In fact, there were some in worse shape sitting at a few of the booths of upper and middle class who’d shared the same wishes that I had, evidently. By my assumption it was an attempt to show off the extent of the damage to those who had not gone.
“The nerve of those ponies!” one particularly high-class mare remarked bitterly from one of the booths.
“The Canterlot Orchestra humiliated! The ballroom in shambles! That dreadful stampede! It was fortunate nopony was injured!” a stallion replied.
“I don’t know if this apple cobbler’s going to wash out of this dress!” another mare complained, looking down at her horribly-stained gown that had no doubt looked quite lovely prior to all that had transpired.
As self-involved as they had sounded, they had a reasonable point all the same. The latest Grand Galloping Gala had started and initially proceeded without incident, and promised to be one which high society would speak fondly of for days to come. Our rehearsal had paid off wonderfully, our music had never been better that even I was not without the certainty that I had pleased many a guest as did the others….
…But then when that childish pink pony intruded upon the stage and started insisting we play a foal-age song and pushed me to the floor, I knew this respectable event was doomed to fall apart.
It only grew worse from there.
All in all, a perfectly acceptable reason for a quiet night of drinks. At least everypony here seemed to share my sentiments for the most part. Taking the glass in my hooves and gently drinking in the sweet wine, I closed my eyes, trying to begin the process of putting this night behind me.
My cello, the music I made and played at home when I had the spare time, it always relaxed me. The dedication and focus were essential to make the melody flow with grace and beauty, the wonderful and soothing music I could just get lost in as I played on. I wasn’t completely tired, perhaps when I got back to my flat I could…
“Woo! I thought the stiffs usually left this shindig with smiles on their faces!” a rather sudden and cheerful female voice declared, breaking my concentration. “The usual!” its owner said, prompting my eyes to snap open and look over at who had decided to sit next to me.
It was another mare, a white unicorn around my age with a black eighth-note as her cutie mark. Any semblance to normal ended there with a screeching halt. Her mane and tail were a bright, almost electric blue lined with highlights, and looked as though she had never gone near a brush in her life; instead opting to spray whatever they happened to look like when she rolled out of bed under the pretense of being trendy. Also of note with the large, mirrored purple sunglasses she wore over her eyes, obscuring them completely.
As soon as some alcoholic beverage that I suspected to be a soda mixture was slid over to her, followed by the mare exchanging a hoofbump with the bartender, she seemed to notice me for the first time. “Whoa, you look like the jungle attacked you!” the unicorn said.
Well, aren’t you the blunt one? I thought to myself, facehoofing and rolling my eyes after. “Funny you should say that, because for all intents and purposes that’s exactly what happened,” I replied.
The unicorn frowned in what I assumed was confusion and looked around, no doubt noticing nopony here looked in presentable condition, but then again who was she to judge?
“Uhhh… what?’ she asked, sipping her drink.
“The Grand Galloping Gala, it ended in a complete disaster thanks to some very disruptive ruffians that did not have the faintest concept of how to behave in polite society!” I explained firmly.
The unicorn sat there in silence for a moment, then raised up her sunglasses, revealing a pair of astonished magenta eyes. “Dude… and I missed this?” she asked.
“So it would seem. Lucky you,” I replied bitterly, taking another sip of my drink.
“Wow, if I’d have known it’d go down like that I’d have gone to that snore-fest in a heartbeat!” she declared with a grin.
I could only stare agape at her. What did she just… I could not believe she’d have the brass to say such a thing! “I’ll have you know, the Grand Galloping Gala is a—” I began.
“Snore-fest!” she said once more, cutting me off.
“Maybe to your…” I looked the other mare over. “…I’ll assume less refined tastes,” I said.
“Refined? Pfft! That’s just another word for uptight,” the other pony remarked with a hoofwave. "I’m amazed half these high-and-mighty Canterlot elite can walk with their asses clenched so tightly together...”
I spat out my drink from her sudden use of vulgar language. After I'd made several apologies and wiping down the table with the napkin I’d asked for, I noticed the unicorn watching me and failing miserably to hold back a giggle fit that seemed to be just below the surface.
“I’m certainly glad you’ve found some merriment at this,” I said with an eyeroll.
“Should see it from my end. It’s not every day I see a pony do a genuine spit take!” the other mare replied. After a brief stare off, she looked down at her drink. “Sorry, you look and sound like things went down pretty awful. Figured I’d try my hoof at cheering you up,” she said.
Once more I was taken by surprise. Seconds ago, she was coming off a complete dullard, but now was showing me she just wanted to help… in her own rather obnoxious way, but still. “I see…”
“Hey, look. Why don’t we order some more rounds, and start from the beginning?” she asked with a grin, floating out some bits from her saddlebag. “On me if you’re willing to spill the story!”
After losing my first drink but not wishing to impose bad manners by turning down the kindness of strangers, even one as strange as this pony, I decided to humor her and accept. “Very well.”
“That’s the spirit! Two more of the same!” the unicorn cheered, getting a nod from the bartender as I prepared myself to vent. A part of me seemed to warn I shouldn’t lower myself to complaining so profusely in public, but on the other hoof, the upper-class ponies who had been desperate enough to come here in their current state weren’t being particularly discreet of their grievances either.
“Where to start,” I muttered as my next glass of champagne arrived, my new bar mate watching me at full attention.
“So things were going well… our orchestra had been giving its best performance yet, the guests were happy, but then… then, this childish dullard of a pony dressed like a walking birthday cake comes on the stage, insisting we play the Pony Pokey of all things! As she was to our understanding a guest of the Princess, and out of some hope it’d get her off the stage without causing a scene, we obliged,” I explained, feeling a little fuzzier in the head but still perfectly coherent enough. My tolerance to alcohol was rather high and I knew my limit… I think…
“And then I’m gonna guess things went from bad to worse?” the other mare asked.
“Oh, you have no idea!” I said bitterly, taking another drink from my glass. “Instead of leaving the stage, she begins prancing around and singing the bloody song like she were at a foal’s birthday party, bumping into us and sending me flat on my face when she grabbed me and tried to move my cello bow for me!” I protested. “I’ve never been so embarrassed! Everypony was watching!” I shivered, recalling all the stares and taking another sip, the unicorn taking a sip of her own drink before looking back at me.
“I heard the place got trashed. All this from a Pony Pokey round?” she asked, cocking her head.
“Oh, no. That was just the start of it,” I continued. Another sip. “Then she stage-dives a vending cart that had just been wheeled in, sending food all over the place and causing the Princess’s nephew to panic, knocking over a statue, which a pegasus attempting to catch it instead knocks into a column, causing a domino effect that destroys much of the ballroom…”
I swear she was trying not to laugh, but I felt too light in the head to properly scold her. It was around then I realized I should stop with the drinks and nudged my glass away as carefully as possible.
“So there we were, the Canterlot Orchestra, covered in dust and trying to salvage our instruments just as the Princess entered the room. And then… a most unbelievable thing happened,” I muttered, still in some disbelief at the nature of the final straw that had truly rendered the night impossible to save. “You recall saying I looked like I was attacked by the jungle?” I asked.
“Well, that’s more or less exactly what happened. Almost immediately after Princess Celestia arrived, a stampede of animals bursts into the room and nearly tramples everypony!” I stated.
“Wait, what?” my bar mate asks.
“You heard me. The entire Canterlot Garden’s animals just came bursting in, being chased by this hysterical pegasus that was screaming at them like she were completely mad!” I sighed, facehoofing. “After that, there was nothing left but to pick up whatever instruments of ours were still intact and leave as quickly as possible with as much dignity as we had left,” I let out a loud groan of frustration. My head felt fuzzy and light and I was still a mess from the whole incident. “Without a doubt the worst night of my life!” I muttered.
I felt a hoof gently touch my shoulder. “Feel better?” the other mare asked. Oddly, I did. Even with the alcohol in my system it did feel like some of the weight was off my back, now.
“I suppose I really did need to vent,” I said, sighing.
“We all do, sometimes!” the unicorn said, resuming her upbeat demeanor. “Name’s Vinyl Scratch, by the way! What’s yours?”
I sighed, rubbing my head a little with my forehoof to fight off the fuzziness. “Octavia. Octavia Melody,” I replied. “As you may have determined, I am the cellist of the Canterlot Orchestra, though it will take us some time to recover from this catastrophe.”
“Yeah, figured,” Vinyl replied. “But hey, pleasure to get your name! So does the name DJ PON-3 ring any bells?” she asked, looking at me like she was expecting the answer to be a yes. Unfortunately, she was about to be disappointed.
“No,” I replied.
“Aww, darn,” she said, ears drooping. “Then again, guess you don’t look the type who listens to my stuff.”
“And that would be...?” I asked.
“All the modern-age stuff!” she said proudly. “Techno, dubstep, the works! I do some disk jockey work at the Madmare Club. Nopony drops the beats like I do!”
“The Madmare Club? That place where all the noisy and uncouth colts and fillies trying to be… oh, what’s the word…” I pondered almost mockingly. “…hip and with it all go to? Nevermind that they’re only grinding their bodies to randomly mixed bursts of noise?” I asked.
“Hey, at least my audiences stay awake!” Vinyl replied, somehow undeterred by my response. “You oughta listen to my stuff once and awhile. It’d blow your mind, babe!”
“No doubt it would,” I replied. “So much so, that they’d be mopping the remains of my head off the walls and floor for days after.”
I had not expected Vinyl to burst into a fit of rather astoundingly joyous laughter in response to my criticism towards her apparent taste in music. Once she composed herself and apparently showed no concern for all the stares she got, the unicorn took another sip of her drink and smirked at me. “Wow, Tavi! You are a total riot! And here I thought the crowds you hung with didn’t have a sense of humor!”
Tavi? I suppose it was better then Octy. “That wasn’t a… don’t call me…” I muttered, the fuzziness hitting again as I felt my eyelids gain about fifty pounds each.
“Whoa, you alright?” she asked, helping me sit straight. “Look, you’ve had a pretty rough night, how about I get you home?”
“I don’t…” I muttered, sliding from the stool and admittedly, I did feel a little numb. Perhaps I had lost track of how much I had drank when I ranted. A much more sober part of my mind was relieved none of my fellow orchestra members were here to see me like this, and I hoped the high-society ponies here weren’t going to speak of me, as their night had been no better then mine.
“Here…” I heard Vinyl say as she dropped some bits on the table and suddenly used her magic to prop me onto her back and brought me outside, floating my cello case alongside us.
“Indulge me… what brings a mare of your particular type to a place like that?” I asked, looking back over at the place we’d just left. “Doesn’t it… bother you to think many of the ponies there may find you rather… out of place?” I asked as my speech began slowing.
“Pfft! Let ‘em!” Vinyl said with a chuckle. “I got the career I love and I make all the money I need on it. What do I have to be ashamed of? As for what brought me here, can't I enjoy some of the finer things every once and awhile?” she asked.
“Well, aren’t you oh-so-sure of yourself…” I muttered.
“Hey, which way to your place?” she asked, ignoring what I'd said.
“Hail a carriage, it's quite a distance,” I said, and she complied, helping me in and climbing in after.
“221 Mane Street, please,” I said, the ponies pulling giving a nod and taking us to our destination. “You didn’t need to come along, you know,” I told Vinyl as she got comfortable next to me.
“Hey, I let you drink and vent, I’m gonna make sure you get home okay,” she replied. I had to admit, while she was rather loud and obnoxious, she was also rather caring and considerate. “Gotta stay awake, though,” she said, nudging me a few times.
“How degrading this is… I can only hope it’s not in the gossip columns… and you didn’t have to do this…” I muttered, in hindsight the alcohol was likely talking for me. All I wanted to do now was sleep and I couldn’t.
“Hey, remember? I work at a club, I’ve seen like, way worse, and I know how to deal with cases like yours,” she said with a smirk. “And anypony starts trash-talking about you, they got me to answer to!” she added, swinging her hoof for emphasis.
“Lucky me,” I replied, facehoofing after when I realized how I’d just sounded. “Vinyl… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t talk that way to you… especially after going out of your way like this for somepony you barely know,” I said.
“It’s all cool, babe!” Vinyl replied. “I told you, I work at a club, you’re totally the most well-mannered drunk I’ve helped out!”
“I’ll have you know I’m not drunk! I’m merely… buzzed,” I said, fighting the drowsiness.
“Sorry. Just stay awake, alright? If I even think you’re about to fall asleep I’m makin’ you listen to my latest remix!” she said, grinning rather mischievously and immediately I felt a great deal more alert, or as much as I could afford to be so I could avoid that level of torture on my ears.
Before we knew it, I felt the carriage stop as they announced our arrival at my flat. I attempted to climb out, but I was still too light-headed to talk straight so Vinyl helped me. Floating my cello case out with her, she kept close and brought me to my door, gesturing to the carriage to wait up.
“Behind the knocker…” I muttered. Vinyl used her magic, tipping it aside and a key fell out that she floated to the keyhole and opened the door.
“Nice place you got here. A bit pristine for me, but it’s definitely got a cozy vibe to it!” she said, floating my cello case in and resting it near my plush sofa. “C’mon over here,” she ordered, and reluctantly I climbed onto the sofa, laying down immediately and taking full enjoyment of the soft surface I was now on.
“You have my… my thanks, Vinyl…” I said softly, trying to stay awake. “There’s certainly… more to you then I’d have… imagined.” Annoying modern music enthusiast one minute, caring pony looking out for my well-being the next…
“Likewise. You’re cooler then the usual Canterlot elite. You made me laugh, accepted the help of a “lowly cur” as they usually call me... Wouldn’t mind hangin’ again and see what else you got about you!” she said with a playful grin. “But just rest up, you didn’t have enough for a hangover so you should be good by the time you’re up again.”
I heard her trot over to me, her grin still there as she said something about a new café and that she’d love company.
“Sure, absolutely,” I said, stretching my hind legs and hugging the nearest pillow I had, not entirely paying attention.
“Cool,” she replied. “Seeya tomorrow at two, then! And don’t worry, they’re supposed to have all those fancy drinks that sound like they’re from Prance that you should be totally into," she explained. "In the meantime, you get some sleep, you look ready to pass out any second,” she said, heading out the door and closing it behind her.
“Strange mare…” I muttered to myself, “Sweet… means well… but so very strange…” I mused before alcohol-induced sleep overtook me.
My eyes fluttered open as I noticed Octavia sleeping peacefully in my embrace. Despite all the shit we’ve gone through in just the past few days, seeing her look so… I dunno… at ease, I guess… it made me smile a little. In a way, it was just like how it used to be; provided I was the first one up and nothing was being planned.
Her ear twitched a little, and I could feel her barrel rise and fall with each breath under my foreleg I had draped over her. My tail swished under the bed towards hers, and as they met, I felt hers return the favor.
“I love you,” I whispered, kissing my girlfriend on the forehead as I slowly turned myself over and sat myself up, carefully as possible not to wake her as I used my magic to float my laptop over.
“Arighty, lessee if we got any takers,” I said to myself, waking the computer back up and making my way back to where I’d sent the pony claiming to be Princess Celestia the message.
My eyes widened and any grogginess I felt was instantly gone when I saw I had a reply. Eager to see what had been said, I used my magic to make my mouse click on it and show me.
I'm afraid that I didn't write that post as it's the work of the fillies I looked over whom are going to hear from me later on. But fear not my little ponies, the message is legit.
I should be able to help you if you contact me via Skype with the following address,
Your second favorite white pony
Hm, I guess she assumed I was one of the fans of the show, or maybe that I just loved my new look. I can say by pony standards I’m sure I was the envy of a lot of mares, but I wasn’t particularly happy with my condition any more then Tavi was about hers. Still, it was worth responding to as I made a mental note of the address included before responding.
Heya! Awesome! How about we put that to theory, k? Find me at Soundwave101!
Okay, yeah, I went through a Transformers phase around the time I got my skype account. I just didn’t want to go through hell making a new one and making sure everyone I knew remembered it. Speaking of, I was glad to see everyone else I knew wasn’t on right now. That would have been way awkward to deal with right now.
Still, better safe then sorry. I switched on to Away so anyone else wouldn’t bother me whenever Celestia answered.
I then heard Octavia begin to stir next to me. Turning, I smiled as I saw her eyes flutter open and she looked over at me.
“Oh, did we get a response or are you telling our friends about our predicament?” she asked, slowly sitting herself up.
“Don’t worry, it’s the first one!” I said with a grin, typing in more for my reply.
My gf sez hi btw.
Within seconds, a beep went off and I got my first message from the apparent pony princess.
Hello the message read, and I began typing.
Heya! So you're the real deal? Got any proof, maybe a picture of you putting your hoof on your head? I replied, the keys clicking about on the keyboard as my magic controlled them.
I'll try, the response read. Thankfully I have some magical help.
In seconds, a file was sent, and I accepted. Needless to say, I’m not sure Tavi and I were expecting what we got. Hell, being catfished would have been less shocking but instead we got a rather hastily-done selfie of the princess herself, on what I swear was a cloud and performing the request I’d made.
“I fancy she’s telling us the truth from the look of things,” my girfriend replied, eyeing the image carefully. “It certainly looks legitimate enough.”
Whoa, can't argue with that I typed, putting my response to text and assuring the princess I believed her now.
“I don’t get it,” Octavia said suddenly.
“Whaddya mean? We got our proof? She did exactly what we said, pose an’ all, babe!” I replied.
“I know, just… remember when we watched that awful final episode?” she asked. “You saw it, too… Discord cast her into the volcano, prior to rampaging through Equestria. How is she here, now?”
“Good point,” I said, rubbing my chin with my hoof. Focusing my magic again, the keys began moving once more.
Hey, Tavi wants to know how you survived. We watched the finale and saw what Discord did, I wrote.
Volcanos are overrated? the response that took a few seconds to show up said. Besides, I'd like a proper proof that I'm talking to whom you pretend to be.
I snorted indignantly and the keys began moving again. pretend?! I fucking lost my manhood three d I didn’t get a chance to finish as Octavia pushed me aside and began typing, resulting in gibberish thanks to hooves being way less suited for typing then fingers were. She seemed to notice this after a moment, and looked over at me.
“Vinyl, a pencil please?” she asked, a little annoyed.
“Hm, sure,” I replied, looking over at the nightstand and floating a pencil from it over and onto the bed in front of her.
Not gonna lie, seeing her holding a pencil in her teeth and trying to type keys with it was pretty funny to watch and got a few giggles out of me.
“What?” she asked, more annoyed now.
“Heh, sorry. You just remind me of one of those bird toys that bobs its head into water glasses right now!” I said, laughing even harder.
“Herhash you’d hrefa ha hake ova?” she asked, barely coherent thanks to the pencil she was holding in her teeth before returning to her response and sending it.
“On second thought, why not, babe. Don’t want you losin’ it having to type one word after another like that,” I said, getting up and focusing my magic to type some more.
Hey, Vinyl again. So my gf doesn't wear herself out with using a pencil I'm switching to voice chat I wrote, moving the cursor and sending a request through.
“Can ya hear me?” I asked when she accepted.
“Yes, I do,” a voice that sounded just like the Celestia from the show said. “Would it be too indiscreet of me to ask you where you are at the moment?” she asked.
I couldn’t find the words, but luckily Octavia did.
“Well... we're in the New England area,” she explained.
“You know, northern east coast area!” I added, going along with what she’d said.
“That's the thing, actually... we don't know what to do now,” my girlfriend continued.
“Tell me about it!” I muttered, flopping on my back and staring at the ceiling. I knew staying here at my parents was a temporary thing at best, and without a direction we were good as fucked when the cops tracked us down.
“Are you safe?” I heard the pony princess ask.
I snorted. “For now, unless those fucking cops come after us again,” I grumbled.
“Cops?” Celestia’s voice became way more urgent. “Do they know what you are?”
I looked over at Octavia. I figure to them we looked like some kind of aliens or something out of… a girl’s tv show.
“They do?” Celestia asked, clearly more worried now.
“Sort of,” I replied, sitting myself up and propping against my pillow, slouching a little despite how weird it felt with this body. “Well, the day before we were all pony, we were buying food and stuff to hold us over because we realized we'd have a hard time going out in public. A buncha thugs with badges,” I explained bitterly before Tavi cut me off.
“Several undercover cops attacked us thinking the bottled ice tea we purchased was beer and that we were underaged,” she said. The mere memory of that was enough to piss me off again.
“They wouldn't let us show ID or explain ourselves or anything!” I snapped. “One pulled a gun on my girlfriend and I sorta had this... I dunno... magic burst or something that kinda blasted the cop who threatened her maybe thirty feet or so away.” As satisfying as it was to see that pig go flying after threatening my girlfriend, I guess it did kind of escalate things from there.
“We got into our car and sped back home,” Octavia continued. “Two of them showed up the very next day and broke into our apartment to arrest us.”
“So... they are looking for ponies?” Celestia asked.
“I'm not entirely sure if they even knew what they were seeing,” I explained, recalling they were pretty weirded out by us, so they obviously weren’t expecting to find ponies per se. “We got away and I—”
“...Threw a box of nails in their car's path?” Octavia asked dryly.
“Hey, it kept them from following us, didn't it?” I asked indignantly.
Octavia decided not to respond to my outburst and instead continued explaining the situation to the pony on the line. “At least his partner seemed to want us to get away. The one who came to arrest us was completely mad!” she said.
“Did you change car?” Celestia asked us.
“I'm at my parents now,” I explained. “I'm hoping we can.” True, I hadn’t asked yet, but it was pretty obvious she and I would have to if we wanted to get out of the state. I sighed a little, realizing that was another issue her and I were gonna have to face.
“Sorry, we've had a little too much crazy shit happen at once for us to get much time to think of anything better,” I said.
“I'm afraid it could get worse,” Celestia said through the speakers.
Octavia rolled her eyes. “I wouldn't be surprised at this point,” she said.
“We had problems with mercenaries whom were looking exactly for ponies,” Celestia answered, gaining my full attention and making me topple forward from my slouch so I was laying closer to the laptop.
“What?! What the hell did ponies do to them?” I asked. Yeah I blasted a cop twice with magic but both times were total self-defense!
“The question would be, how did they know so soon?” the pony princess asked. Octavia looked over at me worriedly; obviously we had something else to go over later…
“...Just what we fucking needed,” I muttered, facehoofing.
“So, you said you were at your family home?” Celestia asked, breaking the awkward silence that followed my comment.
“Mine, yes,” I answered, putting my foreleg around Tavi and giving her a small hug to calm her down from the implications the princess was giving us about another threat to our lives.
“And is it safe for the moment?”
“Yes,” I answered. “A lot safer then going to Tavi's parents, anyway,” I explained. I’d hate to imagine what they would have done to us.
“I know a place that should be safe, should you need it,” Celestia offered.
Octavia’s ears perked up. “Where?”
“It's a town in Iowa,” the princess explained. “There is one and half guards there.”
“...Wait, one and a half?” Octavia asked, and I gotta admit that kind of statement was a little weird.
“You'd need to meet her to understand,” Celestia answered.
I cocked my head. “Eh? Whaddya mean? Who's this we're talkin about?”
“I'm afraid to ask,” Tavi replied.
“She's... special,” Celestia said, pausing a bit as if looking for words to use.
“Define special?” my girlfriend asked.
“I'd prefer not to answer that,” Celestia replied, which made me and I'm pretty sure Octavia more curious of what we'd be dealing with. I doubted Pinkie Pie, she pretty much peaked the weirdness level from what I saw of her, but I’d assume it wasn’t or Celestia probably would have said so.
“I see,” Octavia replied. “Well, at any rate, I think it best we make our way over there as quickly as possible,” she explained.
“If those assholes are still after us then yeah that'd be a good idea!” I replied. Last thing I wanted was my family in danger.
“Very well. Go to Muscatine in Iowa. Once you are there, contact me,” Celestia answered.
Octavia smiled, as did I. “We will, thank you so much, Princess,” my girlfriend said.
“Yeah, thanks loads!” I added, a big smile forming on my face now that we had someplace to go.
“It's my pleasure,” the princess said.
“Got a number?” I asked, realizing we’d need to know how to reach her when we got to Iowa, even if that was a bit away. I should pat myself on the back at some point for deciding to bring our phones.
Celestia gave us a number and I floated up the pencil Octavia had used along with some paper and wrote it down.
“Thank you, very much. We'll be in touch,” my girlfriend said, facehoofing immediately after while I cracked up when we both noticed the rhyme she’d accidentally made.
“Very well. Stay safe my little ponies,” the princess’s voice said.
“You too!” I said with some relief now that a plan was coming together. “Thanks again!”
And with that, the call was over. Turning off the computer, I looked over quietly at Octavia. As good as it felt to have a plan, there was still that realization that I’d have to say goodbye to my family soon, and it’d be for reasons that I knew would make them worry.
The realization I had no idea when, or if I’d see them again also began to sink in as well.
As if she knew what I was feeling, my girlfriend put her foreleg around me and gave me a gentle nuzzle. “Vinyl?” she asked.
“I love you, too,” she replied.
My face got so warm I thought it was gonna catch fire. “Whoa, you were awake, then?!” I asked.
“Of course I was,” she said, tapping me on the muzzle with her hoof and smiling sweetly. “Well, half-awake, perhaps, but I still heard you.”
I couldn’t help but smile. Even in the worst times, she knew how to make me feel better “I guess we better tell my mom and dad what’s going on,” I said, looking at the clock and realizing they’d all probably be up by now.
I climbed off the bed, Octavia following as I opened the door and headed downstairs.
"...And that's the gist of it," Vinyl explained, bringing the story of our meeting Princess Celestia to a close and floating a forkful of waffles into her mouth.
"Wow, wish I could have met her," Amy mused. "But you really gotta leave so soon?"
"Unfortunately, yes," I said. "Please understand, the longer we stay here, the more likely someone's going to come looking for us. The last thing we want is to put any of you in danger."
"Okay, i got a question," Sarah began, speaking up for the first time since Vinyl had started telling what had happened. "How are you going to make it to Iowa in one piece? No offense, but you're ponies, now. Driving a car's gotta be a bit of a challenge."
"Made it here just fine, didn't we?" Vinyl asked, folding her forelegs and smirking proudly.
"Vic, Iowa's got just a teeny bit bigger of a distance from here then your place does," she replied. "You should let one of us take you."
"No way, Sarah," Vinyl replied immediately. "Look, this may be a long trip but there's no way I'd be able to handle putting you or mom and dad in any danger!" her ears drooped and she looked down at her plate. "Sorry... just, it sounds like these guys are pretty serious trouble. I don't want them having a reason to hurt you, too. I've seen enough sci-fi movies to know the evil secret fed guys always kill or try to kill anyone who helps the alien or magic creature for "knowing too much" or whatever."
"You're our son, no matter what you look like, Vic," Mrs. Spencer said, coming over and hugging Vinyl. "You can't just expect us to let you and Olivia to go out there alone."
"If I may, Mrs. Spencer," I interrupted. "Vinyl... I mean, Vic loves you all very much. I... I love this family, too. It's everything mine never was and I couldn't be more thankful for Vic welcoming me into it. The last thing either of us want is these... mercenaries as Princess Celestia described them, harming you or Sarah or especially the girls to get to us, or because you chose to put yourselves in their way. I know you'd do anything for your son, I would, too..." I took a breath. "But the best we can do for you is keep you from getting any more involved in this."
Without warning Vinyl leaned over and threw her foreleg around me. "Yeah, what she said!" she declared, her voice suddenly back to its usual cheerful tone I was used to. "Besides, there's no way we're gonna let a couple jerks like that get us! When all this is over, we'll make it back, no matter what!"
I raised an eyebrow at her bold statement. I would have loved to share the enthusiasm but the fact we were essentially blind between here and Iowa with no idea what kind of experiences awaited us on a car trip that long was filling my more practical approach on the matter.
"C'mon... Mom... Dad... Sarah... trust me on this, alright?" Vinyl asked, her ears drooping and I swear she was attempting puppy-dog eyes.
Silence followed and Mr. Spencer sighed a little. "I really don't like this," he said. "But I'll trust you... if you call us every day, understand?"
"Sure, no prob, dad!" Vinyl said with a big smile. "You know she's the world to me; I'd kill to keep her safe!"
Hoof, meet my forehead.
"I'll give you some money in case you need to buy anything," Mr. Spencer continued, and you may want to change cars if those policemen are still after you."
"Oh, right..." Vinyl muttered, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly.
"You realize that's going to get us in trouble for aiding and abetting?" Sarah asked.
"They cause you any problems it'll be the last mistake they ever make!" Vinyl declared.
"If you're serious about this, you two should probably get going when you're done with breakfast. And like your father said, Vic... call us," Mrs. Spencer said, hugging Vinyl again. "Every. Single. Day. We want to make sure you get there safely."
"Have phone, will travel, Mom!" Vinyl said proudly, gesturing to the backpack she'd brought that contained our phones and laptop and whatever else she'd brought when we fled our apartment. "And maybe ziploc a few of the leftovers, 'kay? I so miss having breakfast here!" she added with a grin.
"Ooh! Just remembered!" Alicia suddenly shouted excitedly, immediately leaving her chair and rushing upstairs, prompting everyone including myself to stare in confusion until she returned with something behind her back.
"Honey, what is it you got?" Sarah asked. Alicia revealed a pair of black, mirrored sunglasses that looked rather familiar in her hands.
"Try 'em on! They came with that Equestria Girls car toy I got!" she said, holding them out to Vinyl. Rolling her eyes and deciding to humor her niece, Vinyl floated them out of Alicia's hands and onto the bridge of her muzzle. Amazingly enough, they fit perfectly.
"How do I look, babe?" Vinyl asked me with a grin.
"Ridiculous as ever, Vinyl," I said, smiling and bopping her on the nose playfully.
"You're just jealous because I can totally rock these!" she said, still grinning as she sat herself up and looked at her reflection on the small, decorative mirror mounted on the wall.
"Makes you look even more like a complete ruffian," I remarked. "...But I wouldn't have you any other way."
Amy and Alicia giggled excitedly and both immediately came over and hugged her. "I guess we call you Auntie Vinyl, now, huh?" Amy asked.
"Aw, but that makes me sound old!" Vinyl protested indignantly as she put her forelegs around her nieces and returned the hug, getting a laugh from me.
"You sure you'll be alright?" Alicia asked, a worried look in her eyes.
"Don't sweat it, your Auntie Vinyl will be just fine!" Vinyl replied with a grin.
It did scare me a little, honestly, facing the unknown that waited for us between here in New Jersey and there in Iowa where Princess Celestia waited for us, and it was evident Vinyl's family felt the same way. Vic, or Vinyl... regardless of name or form, had been the best and most wonderful thing in my life. Despite being loud, crude, and occasionally annoying with that noise passed for the modern-age music I'd never get but could still tolerate, she had remained a loving and devoted person in my life, stood up to my parents, and we'd made our relationship work for a good five years. After all we'd been through, I wouldn't have wanted anything to happen to her, either.
An hour had passed and breakfast leftovers were bagged and put in a small cooler along with several bottled drinks. Mr. Spencer had gone to the gas station just outside the neighborhood and gotten us some cash for our impending trip and the keys to their jeep. Needless to say, when we got back outside, the mood changed drastically.
"Vic, what in the hell did you do to your car?!" Mr. Spencer asked, staring agape at the damages it had sustained.
"A hasty Blues Brothers-style escape from some insane cops?" Vinyl asked with a sheepish grin. "Gotta admit, the thing's definitely built for endurance!" she added, looking over the dents caused by gunfire.
"We'll keep it in the garage. Whatever issue's going on with the police, though, is going to need to be resolved sooner or later," her dad explained.
"Sure thing! Just be sure to tell 'em that their officers are crazy gestapos who like their job a little too much and tried to murder your son and his girlfriend because they didn't want witnesses to their usual little fuck-ups!" she protested.
"You forget I used to be on the force, Vic," Mr. Spencer replied dryly.
"Oh yeeeeah..." Vinyl replied, ears down again before giving a shrug. "Well, lemme say, it's a real damn shame the ones still there didn't follow your examples!"
"We'll see what we can come up with," Sarah explained, probably relieved Amy and Alicia were still inside and didn't hear Vinyl's choice words.
"If they track us down while we're still here, you'll be in trouble regardless of past credibility," I said, feeling a little guilty about having to bring us to saying good-bye. "It's probably best we leave, now."
"Good point," Vinyl said, and immediately Mrs. Spencer and the girls came outside and rejoined us.
Funny, for all my parents' faults, they'd probably have the precinct shut down and every officer given life sentences with the lawyers they can afford if they knew what happened... I thought to myself. ...Of course they'd probably do the same to Vinyl for dating me...
My thoughts were interrupted by the abrupt sound of the jeep engine starting up. Turning, I saw Vinyl already seated in the driver seat. "Hey babe! You comin?" she asked with a big grin.
"...In a moment," I muttered when loud heavy metal music began blaring from the stereo system.
Shaking my head at Vinyl's forever-tasteless choice in music, I walked over to where her family was and balanced myself on my hind legs to hug them as best I could.
"Thank you so much, for everything," I said, feeling tears well up a little in my eyes.